Is mobile paternity testing now a reality?

Walking down a street in New York City, you wouldn’t be surprised to see trucks selling everything from hot dogs and sushi to cake and ice cream. However, you may be surprised to see one selling DNA testing. Believe it or not, someone in the Big Apple is actually doing exactly this, and it could have big implications in child custody and child support cases.

A New York company called Health Street is operating a mobile DNA testing facility in a 28-foot long brown and blue recreational vehicle with the phrases “Who’s Your Daddy?” and “DNA Testing” prominently displayed on the side.

The RV lab cruises certain locations and stops to perform DNA testing for those hailing pedestrians who have a valid prescription from a physician requesting the test. For $299 (insurance typically doesn’t cover the costs of paternity tests), a technician will then take a sample, seal it in a tamper-proof container and send it to a lab in Ohio that is certified by both the New York State Department of Health and the American Association of Blood Banks for testing.

The results of the test are then mailed to the person in anywhere from three to five business days.

While some may question the need for a mobile testing lab, consider that demand for DNA testing in the U.S. has actually increased to roughly 500,000 a year.

Many experts attribute this large number of requests to both the growing number of unmarried mothers who are having children and seeking to determine paternity, as well as a large number of state agencies looking to determine paternity for the purpose of establishing child support.

Still others are simply seeking answers to important family questions.

“It’s just such a serious, fundamental question … who are your children? Who are your parents?” said Jared Rosenthal, the founder of Health Street and the driver of the mobile testing lab.

Needless to say, if mobile DNA testing for a fairly reasonable price becomes more widespread, it will have a profound impact on future child custody/child support cases across the U.S. For example, if more and more people are taking paternity tests, this means more and more people will inevitably be taking to the courts to figure out who is responsible for supporting a child financially and who is entitled to shared custody/visitation rights.

Stay tuned for more from our Ft. Worth family law blog …

To learn more about child custody or visitation, contact an experienced and skilled legal professional.

This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.


Reuters, “Who’s your daddy? DNA clinic gives answers, sparks concerns,” Lily Kuo, Aug. 23, 2012