Remember the good old days of Jerry Springer and Murray Povich? Come on, admit it, it was a guilty pleasure watching these syndicated talk shows. Viewers were attached to their TV sets, watching the comical exploits of the guests. Episodes where men where alleged of cheating on their significant others. Other episodes where women accused men of being the father of their child, or children in some cases. While it made for a good chuckle, it was probably a bit more serious for the people involved. Thankfully, those days are.
A while back, I read about this at home paternity test called IdentiGENE. I seriously thought it was a joke, like some company just making a gag gift. I thought they went too far with the joke when I saw their website, or YouTube videos. It looked really suspicious. However, it turns out that this is in fact a legit company. So, here’s the rundown on how this works. You purchase on of their kits from their online store, or at pharmacies like CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and of course, Wal-Mart. It costs about $150, and includes, three packets of cheek swabs, three specimen envelopes, an order form and an addressed envelope. Once you have your DNA sample, you mail it out to their laboratory for testing. In 3 to 5 days, you’ll find out if you’re a proud papa, or, a really pissed dude. Yes. This sounds way too easy. It’s probably even too good to be true. While they claim that their results are 99.99% effective, they’re not legally binding. To do that, you’ll have to cough up $250.
IdentiGENE isn’t the only at home paternity test on the market. There’s GeneSys Biotech Beta Paternity and Genetic Testing Laboratories , which all basically offer the same services as IdentiGENE, although prices range from under a hundred bucks to a couple of hundred dollars.
What’s interesting, albeit frightening at times, is that you can use these paternity tests to find out any number of blood relatives, or cheating lovers. If you want to find out some ancestral origins, unknown relatives, like a sibling, grandparent, uncle or aunt, you can do it right from home by using buccal swaps or blood. Infidelity tests, however, can use almost anything that has some sort of DNA on it. A toothbrush, ear wax, sperm, gum, and even clothes are all usable, which is the scary part.
Technology has made finding a long lost relative that tangible, and convenient. It’s even made the days of trashy, day time talk shows a thing of the past. So, finding a relative, awesome. Finding out you’re a dad, or being unfaithful, not so awesome. Just remember to be smart, that means wrapping things up, and if you cheat (which we’re not condoning), maker sure that you absolutely cover every track. If not, you can easily be caught. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.