Who’s Your Daddy? DNA Truck Sells Paternity Tests On NY Streets

By Amir Khan on August 23, 2012 11:12 AM EDT

DNA
Ever wonder who's your daddy? Then head on over to New York City, where a new truck is offering quick and easy DNA testing, and raising questions about the ramifications of having the ability to determine parentage and biological lineage so easily. (Photo: American Friends of Tel Aviv U)

Ever wonder who's your daddy? Then head on over to New York City, where a new truck is offering quick and easy DNA testing, and raising questions about the ramifications of having the ability to determine parentage and biological lineage so easily.

The 28-foot truck, emblazoned with the slogan "Who's Your Daddy," is run by New York company called Health Street. The truck was launched in 2010, but was recently revamped.

Passerby can hail the truck much like they would a cab, and for a fee of $299, can have their DNA sampled by a licensed technician and sent out to a lab in Ohio, with results sent to them in three to five business days.

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Already, people have taken advantage of the truck's offerings. Two women learned that they were half-sisters and a man who suspected that he was the father of a friend's daughter discovered he was.

"It's just such a serious, fundamental question ... who are your children? Who are your parents?," Jared Rosenthal, Health Street founder and DNA truck driver, told Reuters.

The truck's DNA tests are analyzed in an American Association of Blood Banks accredited lab, but Susan Crockin, a lawyer who teaches at Georgetown Law Center and specializes in reproductive technology, said prospective consumers need to be aware that tests can be contaminated and flat out wrong if done incorrectly.

"The underlying issues are obviously the quality of testing," Crockin told Reuters.

Other experts worry that finding out who a biological parent or relative is could devalue the relationships people have with those who raised them.

"As this (industry) evolves it will create... a social expectation that, despite a past relationship between a social father and a child, DNA is everything," David Bishai, a professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told Reuters. "If you're really happy with the children in your life, don't go near these things."

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