Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cord Blood Banking - Public or Private?

My husband and I thought long and hard about whether or not to store Andrew's cord blood in a private bank like CBR or Viacord. We just couldn't afford the high collection and storage fees, but it seemed that private banking was SO important--shouldn't we try to find the money somehow?

We finally decided to bank publicly. In the end, it seemed to us that private cord blood banking was really just a money-making endeavor... and it looks like the reporters at ABC's World News have come to the same conclusion!

Last week the program uncovered a lot of decieptful practices at the private banks including claiming erroneously to be able to cure many diseases with a child's own cord blood, paying doctors for collecting from their patients (against American Medical Association guidelines), and employing parents (essentially actors) to encourage other parents to privately bank.

Click HERE to check out World News' multi-part investigation.

What these private banks aren't telling most patients is that a child cannot use his own cord blood to treat many diseases as that disease is in his DNA, making his own blood unusable. And, what's more, if you donate to a public program such as the National Cord Blood Program, as we did, you can retrieve your donated cord blood for free if it hasn't been used already!

Finally, World News reports that "the likelihood of matching cord blood for most children in a public bank is greater than 90 percent." So, unless you already have a child with a disease who needs a siblings cord blood--and of course, a match isn't guaranteed--the investigation cites public banking as the best option for the majority of families.

I say, put those thousands of dollars you save on cord blood banking into a college savings account for your little one. Maybe if enough of us say no to private banking, these companies will stop preying on the fear and uncertainty of new parents.


  1. I felt the same way about this issue! My OB even said that private banking was just for people who had extra money they didn't know what to do with! Hee hee...

  2. And yet all the literature the private banks put out make you feel like you're a bad parent if you don't buy a package with them, right? Shame on them!