'I don't know what happened,' BabyView employee says after moms accuse clinic of distributing stock photos instead of ultrasound pics
Published Wednesday, May 18, 2016 11:59AM EDT Last Updated Wednesday, May 18, 2016 7:19PM EDT
A Pickering prenatal imaging centre is being accused of giving pregnant moms a stock photo of their unborn babies instead of a 3D image of their ultrasound.
More than a dozen mothers have come forward on social media accusing BabyView of giving out the same stock photo to different mothers.
In some cases, mothers reported receiving two different pictures, only to have others on social media say they received the exact same two photos.
Some have even filed an official complaint with police, according to Durham Regional Police.
BabyView , who did not open shop today at 10 a.m. as regularly scheduled, denies any wrongdoing and is placing the blame on a “technical glitch.’
Sgt. Bill Calder said police are in their early stages of their investigation and no charges have been laid.
Pickering mom Jennifer Cusimano said she paid $130 for two photos and a recording of her child’s heartbeat.
Cusimano is almost 21 weeks pregnant and had a positive experience at BabyView when she visited five years ago when she was pregnant with her second child. But BabyView has changed ownership since then.
Cusimano said she could barely see her child’s features in the sonogram but was told to wait in the waiting room for a photo.
When the technician emerged, she handed over a photo, saying “I cleaned them up a bit,” Cusimano told CTV Toronto.
“I thought it was weird, but thought maybe they’re just really good at what they do,” she said.
She didn’t think anything of it until Tuesday night at around 7 p.m. when another mom on a Facebook group posted a 3D photo of her ultrasound and asked others to do the same.
“I posted mine and after a few comments, another girl posted her photo and it was the exact same as mine!” she said.
"Just immediately, I look at it and knew it looked the same as my baby picture," Carolyn Yeo, who noticed Cusimano's Facebook post, said.
Cusimano posted the photos side-by-side on her personal Facebook page and another local mom’s group on social media. Throughout the night she was messaged by people who said they too received the exact same photo after visiting the clinic.
She immediately called the clinic and spoke to the technician who performed the ultrasound.
“They told me to come back (Wednesday) with the two photos to show them,” said Cusimano. “They said they could book me in for a new photo session free of charge.”
“I’m almost speechless thinking of how someone can think of doing that, especially with technology being what it is,” she said.
But BabyView maintains they are just as dumbfounded as the parents involved.
A man who identified himself as Adeel Adeel Mir spoke to CTV Toronto Wednesday morning and said he and his wife run the clinic.
While he takes care of the technical side of the business, his wife, Mohsina Adeel Mir, was identified as the technician who helped Cusimano. Her business card indicates she is the company’s president.
Adeel Adeel Mir said his wife is a licensed sonographer and has experience in the field dating back to when she lived in Pakistan.
“I’m just like you, I’m confused I don’t know what happened,” he said. “This is a technical issue.”
“There is a technical glitch between the machine that takes the images and those images are transferred to the computer and then printed out,” he said.
“Before 22 weeks, all babies have similar features, very hard to tell the difference,” he said. “There are separate folders, made for specific clients. Those files were merged, we took the printout and could not see it was a different picture because the babies look the same at that point.”
Adeel Mir said he is offering the clients a full refund on their photos.
“Whoever calls, we are explaining it to them. We are telling them they can come back and take more photos or we can refund them the full price of the photos,” he said.
In a Facebook post posted just before 11 a.m., BabyView apologized to its customers.
Cusimano, a single mom to two other children, said she won’t be returning to the clinic, even though she was supposed to return Wednesday evening for an ultrasound that would confirm her baby’s gender.
“I still can’t believe it,” Cusimano said. “I haven’t slept all night. My heart has been racing with anxiety.”
"It's been on my fridge for two months," BabyView client Vanessa Peirce said. "I've looked at it every single day."
Some of BabyView's clients are not accepting the company's explanation.
"I do want to see changes and make sure she's not allowed to conduct business again in this country," BabyView client Celine Amidi told CTV Toronto.
According to Sonography Canada, the 3d baby imaging industry -- or "entertainment sonography" as it is known -- is not a regulated industry.
Technicians do not have to be a sonographer to provide the service, said Tom Hayward, former executive director of Sonography Canada.
Cusimano and several other mothers said they have since filed a police report with Durham Police.