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How Important Is Your Unborn Child's Gender?

Pregnant for 8 weeks or longer? Then, you, too, could know your child's gender. But you must have been pregnant for 8 weeks. And no man must touch your blood sample. And you must follow the kit's instructions to the letter.

Sound fishy yet? Well, if you said yes, you wouldn't be the soon-to-be parents who shelled out $275 for Baby Gender Mentor's early prenatal gender detection test.

Now, six New York parents who simply couldn't wait till the 20-week ultrasound to know their baby's gender have filed a lawsuit against the maker of the gender predictor kit, according to the New York Daily News. The lawsuit says the kit's inventor has reneged on the promised 200 percent refund if the kit incorrectly predicted the wrong gender.

But back to this whole gender issue. Is knowing your child's gender at 8 weeks -- when an ultrasound can show you a bean with a beating heart and little else -- really all that important? The moms who have filed the suit say yes. Brittany Hayes, who had girls when she expected boys "began to bond on a deeper level with her child and began to call him by his name," the suit contends. And also according to the lawsuit, mom-to-be Keven Duffy's marriage disintegrated when the prediction kit incorrectly said a girl was in their future. "Duffy's husband wanted a boy very badly."

Are products such as this really worth the dough? Have we become so impatient that we simply can't wait to know the gender of our future children? And is this desire to know NOW any worse than gender selecting embryos to implant via IVF? Or starting an adoption process by selecting a certain gender to add to your family?

By Stacey Garfinkle |  June 23, 2009; 11:30 AM ET  | Category:  Babies
Previous: How's the Reading Going? | Next: Recession Woes: The Loss of Maternity Leave


it's nothing to do with impatience - everything to do with it being a cheap alternative to gender selecting embryos by opening the door to 1st trimester abortions upon disliking the outcome of nature.

Posted by: 06902 | June 23, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Parents should have a child to have a child, not to have a boy or a girl. Be happy with what you get!

Posted by: jtyi | June 23, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

If your marriage "disintergrates" because of the predicited gender of an unborn baby, then you don't have much a marriage to begin with.

Basically this is goofy. Bonded on a deeper level because you "thought" it was a boy? Goofy. She wouldn't have bonded if she thought it was a girl? Goofy.

My great grandmother used to *require* all pregnant family member to show her their nipples. She acurately predicted the gender of all the babies born in our family for a couple of generations (including me!) based on the color, size and shape of the pregnant mom's nipples. Also goofy, but there it is.

Posted by: VaLGaL | June 23, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I agree with 06902, this is all about the abortion option in the first trimester.

Posted by: cheekymonkey | June 23, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"If your marriage "disintergrates" because of the predicited gender of an unborn baby, then you don't have much a marriage to begin with."

Ditto. Same for shelling out $275 for snake oil.

If the gender of your kid is the biggest thing you have to worry about, you should be thanking your lucky stars instead of filing stupid lawsuits.

Posted by: laura33 | June 23, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Yup, right with Laura33. Hearing about these kinds of lawsuits makes me cringe - really people, get your priorities right.

Posted by: stephs98 | June 23, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what it feels like to be the girl in the above lawsuit. Your mom is suing because you aren't a BOY! I think I would sue for better parents.

Duffy and Hayes should spend a day with parents of sick or disabled children so they can learn what is truly important in life.

Posted by: skm1 | June 23, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I love the grandstanding here..."get your priorities straight" "learn what is truly important", stop "filing stupid lawsuits". Hilarious.

Should one not sue a car company that didn't fulfill a waranty claim because we should be happy that we have a working car?

Should one not sue a dry cleaner that refused to give a promised refund on a shirt they couldn't clean, because, hey, the shirt still fits, right?

You can't just go flouting contracts or voiding warranties because you feel like it, or you feel like customers should just be happy they have x.

The guy made a claim, couldn't deliver, and should be made to pay at least the promised refund. You might be justified in your grandstanding on the "unspecified damages" claims, but the claims on the refund are 100% legit.

Posted by: 06902 | June 23, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

06902, yes: these folks should get the 200% refund they were promised. But they're not suing for $550. "Unspecified damages" + "bonding"/divorce sob stories = they want big $$$ for emotional distress claims. Which is what takes me to, if that's all you've got to complain about, qwitcher [complaining].

Posted by: laura33 | June 23, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse


i honestly have way too much hope for our society to assume that people use these kits so they can get abortions if they don't like the gender.

i really really really can't believe that's the case.

i don't know anyone who is that callous/cold/horrible.

they use the kits because it's fun and because $275 isn't that much money to a lot of people. and they filed the lawsuit because that's what people do when they get annoyed and want to blame someone.

Posted by: interestingidea1234 | June 23, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Laura - they are suing for $550 AND unspecified damages. If you think they should get the refund, and the company is refusing to pay, how else should they get it but by suing?

Interestingidea1234 - whether or not you konw anyone that callous/cold/horrible - they exist. When we choose "choice" we don't get to choose the morality of those who would be the chosers

Posted by: 06902 | June 23, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

06902 -- ok, since I apparently wasn't clear, let's divide this up.

Guy sells snake oil. It doesn't work. He gets sued. The folks who sue him should win and get their $550. Absolutely no problem.

Plaintiffs and their lawyer then go to the paper whining about how guy has destroyed their hopes and dreams and families. Seek "unspecified damages" on top of $550 (code for emotional distress). This is my problem. If these people really think this kind of distress is worth a lawsuit, they need to get a life (not to mention some perspective).

Problem is, no one thinks anything is worth "just" $550 any more. They have to build it up into some huge deal, the Worst Thing Ever -- then get lots of publicity so they can get more clients and turn it into a class action suit. Then they can use the threat of a big emotional distress payout to force a settlement with the manufacturer. Which, conveniently, the lawyer who managed the publicity will then take most of. So no one wins.

Posted by: laura33 | June 23, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

"Or starting an adoption process by selecting a certain gender to add to your family?"

Whooooooaaaaaaa. There's something wrong with starting the adoption process by looking for a girl under 2 years old??? Why? You have to start somewhere. Country. Gender. Age. Unlike with bearing your own, starting with, "I just wantt a healthy baby" doesn't work with adoption. You wouldn't find out about the real health of your baby until you are well along in the selection process.

To do otherwise is to suggest that the way to purchase a car is to say, "I just want one with a good engine" and not to have an opinion on 4 or 8 cylinder, 4 or 2 door.

Posted by: anonfornow | June 23, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

It does sound worrisome - why would you pay $275 for something like that if you can't shrug off the money? they do deserve the refund, and nothing else.
That said, when I was pregnant with #3 after two girls, I got a lot of "trying for a boy?" archness. And the first question people asked about the pregnancy was either "do you know what your having?" or "which are you hoping for?".
I tend to snark - "I'm really hoping for a lefty this time".

Posted by: inBoston | June 23, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Heh heh
You can get first-time parents to pay for ANYTHING

Posted by: bubba777 | June 23, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Laura - sounds good. The lawsuit for the 200% refund is justified. Resolved.

If you're comfortable judging the merits of the rest with the given facts, that's up to you, and I can see given our nation's collective experience with emotional distress suits why your opinion would be jaded that way.

Posted by: 06902 | June 23, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

We used it just because we were impatient/curious with our first born. We didn't care what it said either way, we just wanted to know. It was correct for us (i.e. predicted a girl, we had a girl).

I did read all the disclaimers before hand and knew if it was wrong, it would be pretty damn hard to get our money back.

I feel stupid for wasting money on something like this, though I know myself well enough to know I would do it again!

Posted by: Marimom | June 23, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Learning the sex was the farthest thing from my mind at our first two ultrasounds. For the first one, my wife had a bit of unexplained bleeding. It turns out that the fetus had stopped developing and we weren't going to have a baby.

The next time around (much difficult and painful time skipped), we were as nervous as you could possibly be. Then we got the biggest surprise of my life. Twins! After that, sex seemed, well, beside the point. As it happens, two boys.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | June 23, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

I don't see wanting to know at 8 weeks any different as a 20 week ultrasound. It is just getting earlier and earlier.

And to be honest in the US, I don't think you will see a lot of first trimester abortions based solely on gender. Yes this exist in countries that have strong gender preferences culturally. The US doesn't seem to have strong preferences about gender. It seems most Americans would prefer one of each but seem to be basically happy with whatever you get.

But finding out the gender whether it is at birth, 20 week ultrasound or earlier is just plain fun for couples.

I found out at my 19 week sonogram with my first child (girl) and 12 weeks genetic testing with my second (boy). At the time I would have preferred two girls but was quite happy with my son. Now, I would say it just doesn't matter and getting one of each is really nice.

I definitely think they deserve the $550 back. I don't think you can argue much with that. But nothing else.

Also if your marriage is going to fall apart over the gender of your child, your marriage needs reexamining and their priorities really need reexamining.

But finding out the gender is good for planning and it is just plain fun. As soon as I heard #2 was a boy, I automatically got rid of all of my daughter's girly girl infant clothes. That was helpful to the family that got her clothes and freed up a lot of space. I was also able to register for gender specific items. I don't think there is anything wrong with that. It is a surprise no matter how you find out or when you find out.

Overall, if you open your hearts and your minds to either gender, I think you will find things you enjoy about both genders. In the end, they are your kids and you love them for who they are. Not what they are.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 24, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

This test kind of skips the question -- can mothers tell the sex of the baby they are having?

I don't know what other people's experiences were, but I knew both times. The ultrasound tech would ask me, Do you know what you're having? And each time (2x) I predicted correctly.

Felt I was having a boy; then felt it was a girl. I was right each time.


Posted by: goodhome631 | June 24, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

When I was pregnant with my daughter, all I wanted at the 8 week sonogram was a beating heart. After a string of miscarriages, gender was not important to me. I just wanted a healthy baby. We were quite nervous of course and were thrilled that the embryo was growing appropriately. We found out a little before 20 weeks that she was was girl. I really did not have any gender preference, and was thrilled. My son, on the other hand was not so happy initially. He really wanted a baby brother. It was nice that he had another 20 weeks or so to process the concept of having a sister instead. By the time she was born, he was over the initial disappointment and happy to welcome his sister.

Posted by: emily8 | June 24, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Is this test leading to many abortions? I don't know. But I personally know one woman who did have an abortion based on the wrong answer in the test. She and her husband couldn't agree on whether they would do a genital cutting ceremony for this child as required in his culture, so they decided to abort when they got the wrong gender and try for the other.

As a pro-choice woman myself, that was a pretty tough one to swallow. But it happened.

Posted by: JaneWP | June 30, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

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