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Expectant moms say Pickering clinic gave them identical 3D ultrasound images

A group of expecting mothers is outraged after receiving identical ultrasound photos from a clinic in Pickering. For more than twenty parents, what they thought was their first glimpse of their babies, was actually a generic printout of someone else's child.

Ultrasound clinic blames a 'technical glitch' for the identical images distributed

Expecting mom Kaley Austin says she was given a 3D ultrasound image that turned out to be identical to one of the stock photos posted on Babyview's website.

A group of expecting mothers is outraged after receiving identical ultrasound photos from a clinic in Pickering, Ont. 

For more than 20 parents, what they thought was their first glimpse of their babies was actually a generic printout of someone else's child provided by Babyview 3D Prenatal Imaging.

"I've been looking at that every day to get me by, and he's just not even mine," said Kaley Austin. "I've been looking at a lie."

A series of 3D ultrasound images is posted on the Babyview website. The clinic says it starts ultrasounds at 19 weeks.

For Austin, the news is especially devastating. The single mother had already been having a difficult pregnancy and struggled to save the $150 for a 3D ultrasound of her expected baby boy. 

"I just wanted to see his face," Austin said. She was horrified when she realized the image she'd been cherishing as her own was identical to a stock photo on the clinic's website.

She was tipped off by Facebook posts from other parents claiming the company was handing out the bogus images.

Clinic blames a "technical glitch"

Babyview 3D Prenatal Imaging claims the act wasn't intentional. 

The company issued an apology to customers in a Facebook statement Wednesday, saying the incident "occurred due to a technical glitch with the printing services provided." 

Babyview said the issue has since been resolved and initially offered parents re-scans or a 50 per cent refund for the images, later changing that to a full refund.

Adeel Mir, the husband of the owner of Babyview, added in a phone interview that while he respects the concerns the clinic's clients have, when it comes to the babys' images, "at this age, they often look like each other."

Still, Mir admitted, "they may have gotten the same photo. We don't know." He maintained that if they did, it was likely due to an issue with the clinic's printing or scanning processes.

Babyview 3D Prenatal Imaging says a 'technical glitch' is responsible for more than a dozen parents receiving identical images.

For expecting mothers who feel duped by Babyview, a full refund is not enough. 

Some say they spent "hundreds of dollars" on the 3D ultrasound photos and want to know how a "technical glitch" could possibly be responsible for more than 20 parents getting the same faulty photos.

In an interview with CBC's As It Happens, Jenn Cusimano said she paid $163 for the imaging service and shared the photo with her friends and family.

She had been admiring the picture since she got it two weeks ago. 

"It's been in a frame in my living room, I've been staring at it, daydreaming," Cusimano said. "It's a very special moment and it's now been ruined."

Spotting the red flags 

Parents who visited Babyview also described the same experience of having the 3D ultrasound machine show a blurry image during the scanning. 

The technician told them they were going to touch up the photos and left the room, eventually returning with a clear final product. 

Markham ultrasound technician Mou Corraya told CBC that an experienced technician will process the images in front of expecting parents. Anything else should be a red flag. 

"What I do is I match the number, I match the timing and then I print out immediately," said Corraya.

Markham ultrasound technician Mou Corraya tells CBC that an experienced technician should process the photos in front of expecting parents, so they can be sure the image they receive is theirs. (Paul Borkwood/CBC)

She told CBC all of the images she processes are time-stamped, something missing from all of the mothers' Babyview images.

For Austin, it's an experience the expecting mother will never forget. 

"I'm really upset," Austin said.

"I don't even know what to think, because here I am looking at these photos for so long, and now I find out it's not my child, and that's what was keeping me going this whole time." 

With files from Ali Chiasson and Shana Cohen

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