Donating Your Baby’s Umbilical Cord Blood
While many families are considering the benefits of privately banking their baby’s cord blood, there is always the option of donating the cord blood to a public bank. Donation brings along a whole other host of questions and decisions to be made, so we’ve included an entire section on this other option.
Reasons to Donate Cord Blood
There are several reasons people are deciding to donate their baby’s cord blood these days. There is a bill, the Cord Blood Stem Cell Act, being passed through that aims to open more cord blood public banks around the country. This will make it possible to donate your cord blood to a community public bank, so that it can serve the needs of your community.
e certain ethnic and racial groups that have difficulties in finding donor matches when looking for bone marrow transplants. Cord blood banking is an answer to this difficulty. If you belong to one of these ethnic or racial groups, consider publicly banking to make your baby’s cord blood available to patients in greatest need. The following ethnic and racial groups have the greatest difficulty finding donor matches:
- Native Americans, Hawaiians, Alaskans and Canadians
- Black or African American
- Hispanic or Latino
- Pacific Islanders
- Multiple race individuals
Obviously, people aren’t just banking to diversify the public pool of cord blood. Many parents are publicly banking their baby’s cord blood because they can’t afford private banking fees and don’t qualify for ‘case in need’ fee reimbursement. For these families, publicly banking means that in case they should need their baby’s cord blood there is a chance it is available for their own use. This brings up a heavily debated topic of ownership within a public bank. Bank policies differ, but the general rule is that once you donate to a public bank, you relinquish ownership of your baby’s cord blood. Again, it’s rare (.04% chance) that a child would need their own cord blood, unless there is a likelihood or genetic probability of disease.