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Date of last update: 10/16/2017.

Forum Name: Fertility

Question: Finding out the odds of having a retarded baby

 Assyrian - Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:01 am

I'm an Iraqi-American and I spend time living between Iraq and the US. I have a couzin in Iraq who had a baby and came out retarded. This has made him afraid of having any more babies, fearing that his and his wife genes might have a high chance of having abnormal babies. He based this on, genetically somewhat linked to his wife and both of them have retarted family members. Of course their are no advance medical equipment here in Iraq that can tell them what are the odds. So my question is it possible for taking blood samples of both of them and then me bringing them to a US hospital to study them? Is their anything like that? What are other options?
 Debbie Miller, RN - Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:26 am

User avatar Hello,
Genetic testing can only determine some types of birth defects and it would be very unlikely your family members could get a definitive answer even if they were in the states. Unless there is a particular syndrome or condition that is genetic, causing their child's retardation, it would be hard to predict if this might happen again. Certain conditions are suggestive of increased risks to future children but retardation alone would not predispose them to this happening a second time. There are many possible causes for the child to have become retarded and one would need to determine the reason in this case (if it can be determined at all) in order to advise.

Your cousin might start with doing a family health history to see if there is a pattern among the relatives on either or both sides. This can help clue you into any possible genetic problem. Some diseases such as cystic fibrosis require both parties to carry the gene for it in order to pass it on to the offspring. Other diseases need only one parent to pass on the gene.

I am not familiar with anyone doing genetic testing from a distance like this. It may be possible so perhaps someone else has a better answer on that.

Best wishes.

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