Elevated and low levels of maternal serum α-fetoprotein in the midtrimester of pregnancy have been linked with, adverse events in later gestation, such as fetal and neonatal deaths, chromosomal abnormalities, and low birth weight infants. It is not known if this same association with poor pregnancy outcome is also true of amniotic fluid α-fetoprotein. In this study, α-fetoprotein was obtained from the fluid of 1060 women undergoing genetic amniocentesis for advanced maternal age. Poor pregnancy outcome was defined as (1) a fetal or neonatal death, (2) preterm delivery; or (3) low birth weight infants. Amniotic fluid α-fetoprotein was compared to each type of adverse outcome. No significant association with a poor pregnancy outcome in later gestation was noted. Although serum α-fetoprotein in the midtrimester of pregnancy may relate to certain poor outcomes in later gestation, midtrimester amniotic fluid α-fetoprotein offers no predictive value for the course of events in later gestation. © 1987, C. V. Mosby Company. All rights reserved.