In case you missed it, The New York Times reports today on a new study that confirms the accuracy of simple blood tests used to predict the sex of a baby as early as seven weeks into a pregnancy. The study, published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows that if used properly, the gender tests can determine a baby’s sex much earlier than ultrasound or more invasive and risky techniques such as amniocentesis.
Experts say that the findings of the study may increase the use of such tests among parents concerned about gender-linked diseases, but also caution that they could be used for the more controversial reason of gender selection. The article notes that one company requires customers to sign a waiver saying they won’t use the test for that purpose and that several companies won’t sell their tests in India or China where “boys are prized over girls.”
It seems likely that the tests, though pricey (one brand costs $25 for the kit, plus lab fees and shipping which might bring the total to up to $330), could be more widely used for the curious parents-to-be who simply can’t wait to name their new baby or choose the colors of the nursery. It’s an exciting bit of information, after all.