Cord blood banking
If you thought you new all the issues facing interracial marriages and mixed race children, think again. Here is another one to add to that list of yours … cord blood banking.
Cord blood banking for stem cells has been kind of a controversial issue. Its all about preserving your baby’s cord blood umbilical cord blood for future harvest. The cord blood is cryogenically stored when the baby is born and made available if your child or a member of the family (you, your spouse, or a sibling) later becomes sick and needs a bone marrow transplant. You can also donate the cord blood for free to a public bank, where anyone who is a match may have access to your child’s stem cells at any time.
However, being rich in hematopoietic stem cells, opponents question whether cord blood harvesting can contribute to later illnesses. You may not be able to use the child’s stem cells for conditions like leukemia that already reside in the stem cells, making the private storage a waste of money and the cells.
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So how does this affect interracial families? Apparently, one thing interracial couples need to know is that if their mixed race children ever need stem cells; it will be harder to find a compatible match in a public registry. Approximately 7% of the total U.S. marriages in the last census were interracial - while a nice chunk, this is still a tiny minority, and of those most probably don’t donate the cord blood. Of these interracial marriages, the largest sub-group was white/black. Given the stats, imagine how hard it may be to find a donor match for kids who are in a much smaller mixed race minority … say Indian/white children.
One interracial couple (Chinese/White) donated their cord blood the other day in a public hospital. However, the hospital told them that should they need their daughter’s cord blood in the future, it would be made available to them - provided it wasn’t a match to someone else who needed it before they did. This means if they ever need it, and the unfortunate happens, they will have to begin a search for a donor match – something they may never find.
Well, maybe private companies are just trying to scare parents in order to make money as opposed to banking cord blood in public institutions. Maybe you never will need those stem cells. But if you have an interracial family, is it worth spending $2000 on a private institution to bank your child’s cord blood just in case?
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