It was in the late 1980s that doctors first began using stem cells from cord blood to treat patients with diseases that had previously required bone marrow transplants. Since that time, cord blood banking has become more common and more affordable.
Many parents choose to bank their newborn’s cord blood as a type of insurance, should stem cells be needed later in life for that child. Because cord blood stem cells contain the exact DNA of the individual, it is a highly effective way to ensure a match. And so it only makes sense that adoptive parents may be interested in cord blood banking for their adopted child. Often a biological match cannot be found when needed at a time of health crisis. This may be particularly true for adopted people. For adoptive parents wishing to bank their child’s cord blood, following these few suggestions could create a successful outcome:
- Communicate clearly and as early as possible with the expectant mother regarding your desire to bank cord blood. The birth mother’s written consent is required. Additionally, a collection kit must be sent from the cord blood bank to the birth mother in order for the hospital to collect the cord blood. There must be ample time for this to happen.
- Include your adoption agency or representative. Although agencies will often require the adoptive family to make all the arrangements with the cord blood bank, sometimes an agency can recommend reputable banks; sometimes they can facilitate communication with the birth mother and get the required signatures.
- Research cord blood banks. This is especially important if there is little time between an adoption agreement and the birth of the child. There are some banks that will expedite an order. As with everything involved with adoption, finding a reputable bank is key.
Good communication and proper planning are key. With your adopted child’s cord blood banked, there is one less concern and one more way to feel peace through the process of growing your family.