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

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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]