by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted August 29, 2007 in DNA Testing
In 2005, the Early Baby Gender Mentor DNA test was launched. Since then, test maker Acu-Gen has been sued in a Class Action lawsuit claiming “misrepresentations, fraud, and/or other improper business practices.” Following on the heels of the Early Baby Gender Mentor, the Pink or Blue test uses the same technque to test for fetal DNA in maternal blood, analyzed from a dried blood spot, to see if there’s any from the Y chromosome – the presence of the Y chromosome means boy, none means girl. The test can be used as early as six weeks with a purported accuracy of greater than 98%.
Aside from issues of accuracy, tests such as these are also raising concerns that parents may use them for gender selection aka family balancing. From Elisa Hatigan of Subversive Writer on “gender disappointment”:
In North America, Gender Disappointment has less to do with family/cultural traditions and expectations and more to do with personal fears and fantasies, but nonetheless can be very traumatic for a woman. Some women simply cannot cope with the thought of taking care of a particular gender. They might have been abused by men as children, or had traumatic relationships with their fathers or men in general, and sometimes they will try to miscarry or contemplate suicide than give birth to a baby of the â€œenemyâ€ gender.
I asked myself what I would do. …Would I use genetic testing to find out early? Yes, definitely.
Have you or has someone you know taken an early gender DNA test? Karen Kaplan, a reporter at the Los Angeles Times, wants to hear your stories. Please leave a comment here or email her directly at Karen.Kaplan@latimes.com.
Update: Terry Carmichael, VP at Consumer Genetics, manufacturer of the Pink or Blue early baby gender DNA test answers my questions in this interview for Eye on DNA.
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