“Is this for real?”
The refrain echoes among passers by as Jared Rosenthal, owner of Health Street mobile DNA clinic, strategically parks his RV in various Brooklyn neighborhoods. It’s hard to miss the graffiti-styled van’s eye catching ads like “Who’s Your Daddy” and “Paternity, Immigration, Legal DNA.” Poses and cell phone flashes bombard Jared’s mobile office as people stand in line waiting to be the next to update their Facebook profile picture. “People crack a few jokes, get a few laughs. But for every 100 pictures, we get one person who will ask the serious question that’s been on their mind.”
DNA clinics exist all over the city, but Jared’s business model is the first and only to take it to the streets. “All it takes is typing DNA test into a search engine, but for whatever reason people don’t do it,” said Rosenthal. “I don’t think that it’s they don’t have access to the Internet. It’s just something about it that they just don’t take that step.”
It’s been compared to the Maury show that showcases dramatic paternity tests and battles on daytime television, but the range of emotions that come into the van are much deeper than that. “I had a father changing his sons diaper in the van while he waited for the results of the test,” said Rosenthal. “Most of the clients that come are involved with the child hoping that it’s theirs.”
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