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DNA testing on-the-go hits New York streets

The "Who's Your Daddy" recreational vehicle is convenient, even if the mobile lab is not the most traditional way to find out if a parent and child connect biologically. The man who drives the vehicle around New York City for a drug and DNA testing company has seen his share of extreme client reactions.

The drive-up laboratory provides answers parents' paternity questions for a price from under $300 up to $575. People who spot the vehicle have gone as far as flagging down the "Who's Your Daddy" RV like an ice cream truck.

Samples are taken from anxious parents and children. Clients have a choice to hear the results face-to-face or receive results by mail. Many parents want the mobile lab tester to divulge the DNA test results in person, which the driver says produces a multitude of dramatic responses.

The job isn't always easy when a man, hoping that a child is his own, finds out that he is not a father. Sometimes the work is especially rewarding, as in the case of a New York father who reunited with a biological daughter he had not seen in several years.

Unmarried fathers have no parental rights unless they can establish paternity. A child whose biological father is identified enjoys the same benefits and legal protections including financial support, insurance, medical history and inheritance rights as children born to married parents.

Men who can show a biological connection to a child share parental responsibilities and rights. Child support, custody and visitation issues can hinge on whether a paternity test proves or disproves fatherhood.

Unmarried parents in New York State can establish paternity when a child is born by signing an Acknowledgment of Paternity form. Sometimes a paternity issue ends up in court, where a judge will order the parents and child to undergo genetic testing.

The court reviews the DNA test results and determines whether a man is a legal father. Positive results given either parent the right to request child support.

Source: nypost.com, "Mr. Genealogy: Mobile tests let dads know," Tim Perone and Erin Calabrese, Aug. 15, 2012

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