In New York, you can get anything on the street. A hotdog, knockoff Coach purse…and a Paternity test. For those times when a man is walking down the street and wondering if he’s the father of his child, there’s a DNA truck that will give him a Paternity test on the spot.
Yes. This is a real thing.
Aptly titled, “Who’s Your Daddy”, the RV is set up to be a drug testing clinic and a DNA testing clinic, mostly for fathers who suspect their children may not actually be theirs, according to CBS News.
The DNA tests, which cost between $299 and $575, require a simple cheek swab from each participant and lab analysis. Results are available in a couple of days.
Would any man actually have the balls (pun intended) to get a DNA test in such a casual manner? Owner and operator Jared Rosenthal says yes. He told CBS News:
“They flag us down, they pull us over, they talk to us. Sometimes, because of the nature of the services, they want to be a little more discreet about it, but they do come or they’ll call the number. We have people that want to get the specimen from their spouse without them knowing about it. We deal with a lot of drama, it’s constant drama.”
Rosenthal likely knows that, in that business, drama is to be expected.
He told CBS there have been instances where men have walked in with a baby to give DNA samples only to find out later they’re not related.
“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. There’s a lot of difficult situations and tough moments and heartbreak,” Rosenthal said, adding that there are happy endings as well. “There’s a lot of good news that we’re able to deliver and there’s a lot of happy moments.”
One of the happy moments he says is the time he helped a 44-year-old man find his long-lost 20 years old daughter.
That’s a great story, but he also recounted to ABC News a devastating moment:
Rosenthal brought up the story of one woman in her early 20′s who came in for a test, only to find out that the people she believed to be her father and her three half-sisters was not related to her at all. In fact, the test revealed she was from an entirely different ethnic background. “When she found out her father wasn’t her biological father it totally rocked her identity to the core,” he said.
Rosenthal works for mobile and clinic based testing company Health Street. How did he come up with the idea for a moving DNA testing truck?
”Necessity is the mother of invention,” he told ABC. ”I couldn’t afford to rent an office, so I thought, we can convert the RV to a mobile office. People love the artwork–it makes them smile and they share it with their friends on social media and get in touch with people who maybe do need DNA tests.”
Right now the truck is only in NYC, but ABC says they’ve partnered with out-of-state clinics and the US Consulate to provide testing in the event that one or more of the parties may live out of the state or country.
Considering that more than half of births to women under 30 occur outside marriage (not just black women, all women living in America), it’s no surprise that the need for DNA test is on the rise. It’s still pretty sad. I can imagine a child going on a walk with his dad thinking he’s headed to the playground, but first his dad is making a pitt stop at the “big brown truck” to test and make sure he’s that child’s father. Guess it’s no better than the clowns who go on the “Maury” show every week.
What do you think? Would you take a DNA test in a mobile van? Would you be skeptical if a guy told you he found out he was or wasn’t a baby’s father after taking a DNA test in an RV on the side of the road?
Follow Alissa on Twitter @AlissaInPink
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