Who’s Your Daddy? A Mobile Paternity-Testing Truck Offers Answers on the Go

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Kul Bhatia / Getty Images

Getting your DNA tested is almost as easy as hailing a cab, at least in New York City.

A mobile clinic run by the New York company Health Street, roams around the city housed in a 28-ft RV displaying the slogan: “Who’s Your Daddy?” You’ll need a prescription from a doctor for the testing — they do paternity and other familial DNA tests — and the company offers the service on the spot for $299 and up. A technician collects your sample in the RV, then sends it to a laboratory in Ohio, and results are available in three to five business days.

Reuters reports:

Jared Rosenthal, who founded Health Street and drives the RV, recounts some of the people affected by his service: Two women who learned they were half-sisters, and a man whose suspicion that he might be the father of a friend’s daughter was confirmed.

(MORE: 23andMe Wants FDA Approval for Personal DNA Testing. What Can It Reveal?)

“DNA really gets at a person’s identity, it gets to the core of their identity, who your parents are, who your children are, how you define yourself ethnically and culturally,” Rosenthal told ABC News. “The RV is a little more intimate than a clinic, clients tend to talk more they tell us things, we experience some of these life-changing moments with them.”

According to Reuters reporter Lily Kuo, demand for such testing is increasing in the U.S., reaching nearly 500,000 a year, in part because of increasing numbers of births to unmarried women. Most of the tests are requested by state child-support agencies.

But the typical customer at Health Street includes engaged men confirming the paternity of children from prior relationships, returning soldiers making sure newly-born children are theirs, and women inquiring about who fathered their child.

(MORE: Genetic Testing for Kids: Is It a Good Idea?)

Some say such quick and readily available testing is a boon, but many question whether people are psychologically prepared for their results — especially if they’re not what they were hoping for.

[Via Reuters]

74 comments
momof2in1year
momof2in1year

I responded to this earlier, but apparently it either did not go through or was moderated (though I don't know why that would have happened). You have some nerve calling me judgmental when you called women who have paternity tests sluts. I never said you would have no empathy for the young lady in my case-- I believe your mind went straight to sluts, and you didn't stop to think that your comment would be hateful and hurtful, only that it was snarky internet fun for you. As to your other point, "seriously," they did not have all of this young lady's rapists in custody, and were hoping to get a DNA match to either prove they had the father or could get a database match. Also, it would greatly help their prosecution to have this information. Sadly, there are also 31 states that give rapist/fathers parental rights. So get over yourself-- if you are the empathetic human being you claim to be, please try showing that in your posts.

momof2in1year
momof2in1year

This is to Keith-- I can't get this to post as a reply.

momof2in1year
momof2in1year

I responded to this earlier, but apparently it either did not go through or was moderated (Oh, I see now-- in trying to use your foul language, I forgot to split up the bad word). You have some nerve calling me judgmental when you called women who have paternity tests sl uts. I never said you would have no empathy for the young lady in my case-- I believe your mind went straight to sl uts, and you didn't stop to think that your comment would be hateful and hurtful, only that it was snarky internet fun for you. As to your other point, "seriously," they did not have all of this young lady's rapists in custody, and were hoping to get a DNA match to either prove they had the father or could get a database match. Also, it would greatly help their prosecution to have this information. Sadly, there are also 31 states that give rapist/fathers parental rights. So get over yourself-- if you are the empathetic human being you claim to be, please try showing that in your posts.

Keith
Keith

You make a lot of assumptions about people and what they mean; none of them are right about me.  I stand by my comment as written, not as interrupted by you.

 

The article didn't say anything about paternity suits.  I am over 60 and have lived an interesting life. I know that life goes like it goes not by some idiotic rules set by the Bible or the Law.  That stuff doesn’t’ matter to me, but there are some things that fall below acceptable for an old reprobate like me.   My comment was about women that do not know who the father of their child is because they are too promiscuous to keep up with who is sc rewing them which week.

 

So, give it up, you are not going to figure me out, you want to condemn someone you don't know anything about. 

momof2in1year
momof2in1year

I have no desire to figure you out. What assumptions did I make about you? You just proved my only assumption true-- you think any woman who obtains a paternity test is promiscuous-- that is simply not true. You claimed you empathized with the young lady from my story which is only one concrete example that proves you are wrong. You used foul language in reference to women. You are the one who makes assumptions about people and is judgmental, yet you were quick to call me as much.

I stand by my initial post that your post was nasty. It's still nasty-- and your getting nasty with me just proves my point.I'm closing in on 50 (well, in a few years) and have also, so far, lived what many consider an interesting life. However, mine has led me not to anger and broad-brushing of individuals as a group. Your individual post was disturbing to me personally which was why I chose to comment on it.

Peace.

momof2in1year
momof2in1year

Clearly, you have no argument and are reduced to playground tactics. I have multiple degrees and no problem with reading or comprehension, but thanks for your concern. You should review your own word choice. If you would like to make an attempt to specify exactly where your intended meaning has been misconstrued, go ahead. That empathy you claimed is clearly showing (yep, read the sarcasm there). Also, which "beliefs" are the blinding ones.

Have a lovely evening.

Keith
Keith

I am absolutely sure you are blinded by your beliefs and you either can not read or your reading comprehension is just too poor for you to communicate.

Cindy Anne Fehrenbach Riachi
Cindy Anne Fehrenbach Riachi

If a woman has to pay $300 to figure out who the father of her child is, she has serious issues. The money would be better spent on a shrink.

dave254
dave254

 Wow, talk about a fast way to clear out a black neighborhood!

dave_young
dave_young

Most urban dwellers have no idea what their parentage is. Perfect little democrat voters.

aggieboy92
aggieboy92

Just a thought...how about only having sex with the person to whom you are married.  If you are not married, don't have sex.  All of these problems are solved and no testing needed.

j6729
j6729

Yes, I will have a cheeseburger a fry and a coke and what the hec I'll take a DNA test too!  Can I get that to go? 

j6729
j6729

Yes, I will have the chilli cheeseburger a coke and a fry and what the hec I'll take a DNA test as well can I get that to go?  

Keith
Keith

Even Apes don't have sex with more than one male during one estrus cycle.

 

It is sad to know your mother is a sl ut and have to take a DNA test to find out who knocked her up.

momof2in1year
momof2in1year

When I was in nursing school, I was in the delivery room with a 13 year-old girl who was gang-raped. They were doing a DNA test on the baby to determine which of the suspects fathered the baby. Shame on you and your comment. You think you're pretty funny, don't you?

Keith
Keith

The other point is why does it matter which rapist is the biological father? seriously

momof2in1year
momof2in1year

As to your other point, apparently there are a couple of reasons. First, unfortunately, there are 31states in which a rapist has parental rights-- if they had the biological father in custody, they needed him to sign over his rights before the baby could be adopted. Second, they did not know if they had all of the men in question in custody--DNA could help capture another criminal.

I never said you had no empathy with the young girl in this situation, just that in your zeal for a snappy comment, you did not consider the hurt you could cause by assuming paternity test are only necessary because women are "sluts".

momof2in1year
momof2in1year

You just made my point. Your comments are just snarky name-calling. Calling someone a slut is not judgemental? Seriously...

Keith
Keith

No I don't think I am funny but I do know you are judgemental. Why would you assume that I wouldn't feel compassion for a woman in the circumstance you are telling me about?

momof2in1year
momof2in1year

I responded to this earlier, but apparently it either did not go through or was moderated (though I don't know why that would have happened). You have some nerve calling me judgmental when you called women who have paternity tests slu ts. I never said you would have no empathy for the young lady in my case-- I believe your mind went straight to sl uts, and you didn't stop to think that your comment would be hateful and hurtful, only that it was snarky internet fun for you. As to your other point, "seriously," they did not have all of this young lady's rapists in custody, and were hoping to get a DNA match to either prove they had the father or could get a database match. Also, it would greatly help their prosecution to have this information. Sadly, there are also 31 states that give rapist/fathers parental rights. So get over yourself-- if you are the empathetic human being you claim to be, please try showing that in your posts.

The Widow
The Widow

Just a minute, A roving paternity truck can be a financial goldmine in the GOP world where there are no birth control pills, where pregnant women must undergo forced vaginal probes prior to abortions (if they manage to live where they can still get abortions).  I could show up at popular food truck sites...Suspicious men could order unique sandwiches and check out all of their while they wait.  It's natural for men to wonder about paternity, even when there's no legitimate reason (mother nature's retaliatory dig at men who don't have to suffer the god-awful pain of childbirth (trust me on that pain bit)). In this way, I'd be giving the men what they want and earning my son's tuition at the same time. 

dlws8607
dlws8607

Require paternity tests for all new-born babies so that men are not saddled with babies who are not their own.  Make the females become more honest.

Susan Crofoot Davis
Susan Crofoot Davis

Please note that you still need a matching DNA, which means the other person also has to donate their DNA willingly (unless court order or other circumstances).  Many people, like my family, do it for genealogical purposes, which has to be done through the male line.  My family did this and the results are on a surname database.  Anyone else who joins that same surname database might end up being related in some way to the others on the database.  It is really quite fun to learn all of this and find out who your ancestors were many generations ago (and where they lived).

AugustGreen
AugustGreen

Totally agree with you on this one. If one doesn't know who their biological mother and father are then how are they to know what possible physical and mental illnesses to be mindful of for themselves or their off-spring? We need to stop the lies and deceipt.

The Widow
The Widow

 Er, if you come out of the hole, you can bet she's is your mother.

AugustGreen
AugustGreen

Haven't you heard that there are babies being born via surrogates, donated eggs,  traditional adoptions, two mom/two dad adoptions, etc. etc. Lot's of kids are being decieved in this country about their true biological origins. I have a relative that I learned recently sold her eggs - for lots of money because she is smart, educated, and very good looking - what she didn't disclose is the  amount of alcohol and drugs she does and her dad's side of the family has a history of severe mental health and other issues. Sucks for the couple that is going to raise her offspring.

AugustGreen
AugustGreen

I believe everyone has the right to know who their natural mother and father are not only for emotional reasons, but how would one know what possible inherited medical conditions to be aware of? DNA testing on every baby at birth should be done and stop the lies and deceit.