Public vs. Private Cord Blood Banking

Deciding between public and private cord blood banking can be a difficult decision. Detailed below is some information that should help you and your family decide which type of bank is best for your needs.

ACCESS

Public: With public banks, you are limited to delivery at hospitals that handle public cord blood donation. Not every U.S. hospital offers public banking due to funding limitations.

Private: Through private banking you can give birth at any location, using the company’s collection kit, and a medical courier will come to the hospital, pick up your baby’s cord blood/tissue and bring it to their lab.

RETREIVAL

Public: Once you donate your baby’s stem cells to a public bank you relinquish ownership, and therefore anyone can retrieve your baby’s stem cells.

Private: At a private bank only you can retrieve your baby stem cells.

STORING

Public: Either due to low funding or low stem cell counts, nearly half of cord blood donations are discarded and unusable.

Private: If for some reason a family has a smaller amount of stem cells than recommended, families still have the option to bank if they choose to do so. In addition, no bank can discard your stem cells or discontinue storing them without your permission.

COST

Public: It is free to bank your baby’s cord blood at a public bank and is considered a generous donation for families who may need it. If you are in need of stem cells, the current average cost to retrieve stem cells is $35,000

Private: Banking at a private cord blood bank is considered an investment in your baby’s future and can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $8,000 for collection, processing and storage. At Maze Cord Blood, we try to make cord blood banking as affordable as possible to as many parents as possible. In order to do so, Maze Cord Blood includes 20 years of free storage in our pricing.

LIMITATIONS

Public: Mothers are not allowed to donate cord blood if they are having more than one baby. “Multiples are typically smaller and don’t have enough umbilical cord blood for adult transplants”, therefore public banks have a policy of not accepting donations from multiple births.

In addition, if your baby is born prematurely, an immediate family member has had any type of cancer, or if the mother has diabetes, received an organ or tissue transplant (in the last 12 months), or has a tattoo or piercing in the last 12 months a public bank will not accept a cord blood donation.

Private: If you are expecting more than one child not only will a private bank collect cord blood from them but most will offer a discount for doing so.

 

Ultimately the decision of donating your baby’s cord blood to a public bank or paying to store it in a private bank comes down to what is best for you and your family.

Your decision to donate umbilical cord blood can potentially save the life of someone who has a life-threatening disease and gives patients who needs a stem cell transplant a better chance at finding a match.

If you are looking to invest in your baby’s future and are worried about potential diseases, banking at a private bank ensures you and only your family will not only have direct access to your baby’s stem cells but that it will be a 100% match to him/her.


Sources: 

https://www.everydayfamily.com/what-is-the-difference-between-public-and-private-cord-blood-banking/

https://www.babycenter.com/0_donating-cord-blood-to-a-public-bank_1356495.bc

https://parentsguidecordblood.org/en/public-banking