Cord blood banking

Posted by Ria, 26 Nov 07

cordbloodsplcred.jpgIf 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?

Tags: cord blood banking, interracial families, mixed race children

Responses to "Cord blood banking"

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  1. Posted: 28 Nov 07

    I knew a woman who's half Chinese and half white, who survived bone cancer - She was only twenty when she got it. She barely survived by receiving a bone marrow donation from a man in Norway who heard of her plight - Donating it is an stunningly painful process. I think we're going to see more of this forward-thinking medical preparation. As a cruising sailor, it's something I take quite seriously - Third-world blood supplies often have dubious controls and we're learning more every year about how to use resources such as this.

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  2.   fala says:
    Posted: 28 Nov 07

    I agree Coco. I think banking cord blood is a very good idea. I just think they need to take the profit motive out of it and not use scare tactics to try and frighten people out of interracial relationships, because it will be so much harder to find a suitable donor for a mixed race child. Let's face it, having a kid is hard enough. It doesn't matter the child's racial make-up.

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  3.   cocokisses says:
    Posted: 27 Nov 07

    I think its a great idea. You never know when something like this can save someone in your family's life.

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  4.   fala says:
    Posted: 27 Nov 07

    "Well, maybe private companies are just trying to scare parents in order to make money as opposed to banking cord blood in public institutions" Ria, I think that sums it all up nicely.

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