New Docu-Reality TV Series – Who’s Your Daddy Truck
When CNN, FOX, and ABC all featured Health Street’s Who’s Your Daddy Truck on a national stage about a year and a half ago, I was suddenly approached by over 30 networks and production companies about doing a reality show. My gut reaction was, “Hell, no.”
My work, and my clients, were too important to allow some greedy people to exploit for the world to gawk at. But yet, I understood the desire to put this stuff out there: the work I do is dramatic. Few viewers get to directly experience such precipitous, climactic drama on a daily basis. And whenever I share one of my work stories with my friends, they are invariably captivated and on the edge of their seats, hanging on the outcome, and vicariously imagining, “What if it had been me?”
Why I agreed to allow Health Street to be featured in a docu-reality TV series
After turning down dozens of offers, I finally was approached by a network that convinced me that this could be done with integrity and respect. And contrary to the daily dose of exploitation now airing regularly on daytime talk shows, the network and I saw eye to eye on maintaining the dignity and honor of this very private issue.
Even if you’ve only seen Maury Povich or Jerry Springer once or twice, you’ve probably walked away with a sense that only certain people, from certain socio-economic classes, or from certain ethnic backgrounds, need paternity tests. And you also probably came out believing that most “alleged fathers” are desperately hoping and preying that they are NOT really the father.
These shows are wildly successful, yet completely wrong on these issues. I should know. Health Street conducts paternity tests for people from every single culture, every neighborhood (rich or poor), every ethnicity, and every nationality on earth. And the whole idea of non-dad’s dancing around the room when they find out they are not the biological father? It never happens. We conduct hundreds of these tests each year – and we’ve had plenty of “you are not related” moments. Yet not one celebration has occurred. Tears? Yes. Anger? Often. Giving up the love they have for the child they have been raising? I haven’t seen it yet.
The reality is that the dads we see, by and large, love their kids. If you came to my truck, you’d be much more likely to see a father changing a diaper of kid that turns out to not be biologically his own, than you’d be to see him jumping up and down in joy when he finds out the truth.
But DNA tests are not just paternity tests. We sometimes have long lost siblings who meet each other later in life and want to find out if they are truly related. Can you imagine finding out you have a brother or sister out there somewhere? Can you feel what they must be feeling at the moment the results are delivered?
Mom lost infant to illness 30 years ago…supposedly
I am working on a fascinating case right now of a woman who was a teenage mom 30 years ago, and who’s infant fell desperately ill. She traveled from the countryside to take the child to a hospital in the major city of her country, but was soon told that the baby had died overnight. She never saw the body.
Years later, it started affecting her. Every day she dreamed, “What if my baby is still alive”. And then, a chance encounter in a beauty salon in NYC led her to a young woman living on a Caribbean Island who might, in fact, be her long lost daughter. Stories like this will be featured on our show.
Why would someone want to share their story publicly?
Initially, I thought to myself, nobody is going to actually agree to get filmed. But when I started to talking to some of my clients about it, I realized that many of them were carrying around a huge burden – sometimes for decades. They live daily without the assurances that most people take for granted, such as: who is my mother? who is my brother? am I really who I think I am? And when confronted with an opportunity to fill in that void, while at the same time, sharing it with the world via a television program, many of them jumped at the chance, much to my surprise.
But why? To be sure, they partly seek catharsis, but more profoundly, what they’ve told me is they have a desire to help others in the same situation. By exposing issues that are often still taboo in today’s culture, they know that other people in the same situation as they are will benefit. I’ve jumped on that bandwagon myself. I thought, let’s do a show that can make the shame, secrecy, and hush-hush nature of paternity testing and other DNA tests a thing of the past. If my show can help embolden viewers to confront similar issues in their own lives that are keeping them up at night, and if they can ultimately do so without fear of stigmatization, then I would consider that a great accomplishment.
Major Cable TV Series about Health Street is being filmed now
So, here we go. I’ve already finished taping one episode, and we’re currently looking for more people who need a DNA test to determine the truth about a relationship that they are uncertain about. Hundreds of people have already come forward.
The show is going to be airing on a major cable television network sometime later this year. So help us get the word out, especially if you know someone who needs a DNA test. And, keep checking back for updates. Pretty soon, I’ll post the date and time when you can get a front seat ride in the Who’s Your Daddy truck on a television near you!