A test told a couple their child might be intersex and have a genetic disorder. The test was wrong.
After three miscarriages, Colleen Abbott*, a 37-year-old New Englander, finally had what doctors told her was a viable pregnancy. Parents to a son already, Colleen and her husband, John*, hoped for a girl. When two sonograms confirmed the baby’s gender, they went out and bought pink dresses and looked forward to each new doctor’s visit.
Because of her age, and what appeared in a sonogram to be larger than normal ventricles in the baby’s brain, Colleen was scheduled to undergo a number of tests to screen her fetus for disorders and abnormalities. Doctors performed an amniocentesis, collecting a bit of amniotic fluid via a needle through her uterus. Full results take about two weeks, but Colleen got quick answers from what is known as a FISH test, which analyzes the fluid for only the most common abnormalities and for gender.