Before intended parents and gestational surrogates come to an agreement, there are many things to be discussed, from compensation,to insurance coverage, to birthing plans. One important item you may not have discussed is cord blood banking.
What is cord blood banking?
Cord blood banking is the process of collecting and storing the blood from the baby’s umbilical cord after it is born.
Why cord blood banking?
Blood from the umbilical cord is rich with stem cells which can be used in the treatment of many diseases. Stem cells are unique because they are able to regenerate into many types of cells in the human body. These healthy stem cells can replace diseased cells such as bone, heart, brain or blood cells.
How can cord blood be used?
The list of conditions that can be treated with stem cells from cord blood continues to grow, currently including:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Heart disease
- Spinal cord injuries
- Metabolic disorders
- Blood disorders like sickle cell anemia
- Various forms of cancer such as leukemia
What are the pros and cons of cord blood banking?
- Collecting cord blood is painless and non-invasive.
- It can preserve the health or save the life of the child, family members or others.
- Less risk of rejection than bone marrow transplants.
- Gives you the peace of mind of wondering “what if” should your child ever need stem cell therapy.
- If you don’t wish to incur the expense of storing the cord blood, you can donate it to a bank where other families can use it.
- It can be expensive to store. Not all families will be able to afford one or two thousand dollars to collect the cord blood and the yearly storage fee after the expenses of surrogacy and birth.
- You may never need or be able to use it. You may regret the expense.
- It doesn’t last forever. Typically, banked cord blood must be used within ten years or so.
Who decides whether cord blood will be collected?
This falls to the intended parents. Collection takes place after the baby is born, so there is no impact on the gestational carrier at all.
If you have any questions about the decisions you will want to consider as an intended parent or gestational surrogate, contact the experts at Surrogate Solutions. We have answers to questions you may not have thought of and can walk you through every step along the surrogacy journey.