When it comes to cord blood banking, expectant parents have three options: (1) They can privately store their cord blood for their family, (2) They can take the public option and donate their cord blood for other families, or (3) They can do nothing, at which point the medical facility must dispose of the cord blood as medical waste. At Cryo-Cell International, we believe cord blood should not be discarded, which is why we operate as both a private and public cord blood bank.

1 - bank for your family
2 - donate cord blood
3 - discard cord blood

Parents can choose to donate their baby’s cord blood to a public bank or to preserve it for their baby's or other family members’ potential future use. Parents should be fully informed of how each options compares prior to making a final decision.

What is Public Cord Blood Banking?

Public cord blood banking is the act of donating your baby's cord bood to be used by a family in need. Donating cord blood is absolutely free. The registry of donated cord blood available is kept by the National Marrow Donor Program and is called Be the Match®.

What are the Cons of Public Cord Blood Banking?

Public cord blood banks have a limited number of collection sites, which means not all parents will have the opportunity to donate even if they would like. In addition, public cord blood banks only retain a small number of high-quality collections and the rest is dispersed for other purposes. Once parents donate their cord blood, it is highly unlikely that the donation can ever be attained if the need arises. In addition, it may be hard to find another viable match from what is publicly available. Finally, while donating is free, retrieving a public cord blood collection is not and pales in comparison to the overall cost of privately banking cord blood. These are just some of the reasons why privately banking cord blood may be the better option for some families.

Private vs. Public Cord Blood Banking

  Private Banking Public Banking
Intended Use Preserved for the child or other family members to treat nearly 80 diseases such as leukemia and lymphoma. Also immediately available for clinical trials treating conditions like autism or cerebral palsy Donated for a family in need to treat one of nearly 80 diseases or to further cord blood research. Not always accessible for clinical trials.
Rights A family that privately banks has full rights and immediate access to treat nearly 80 diseases or in more than 200 ongoing clinical trials A family that donates gives up rights and access. The baby's cord blood is sold to a family in need and who is granted full rights for use in treatments or certain clinical trials.
Collecting Cord blood can be collected nearly anywhere with no harm to mother or child. Cord blood can be collected at many participating locations, with no harm to mother or child.
Cost to Preserve Various options from which to choose including payment plans starting at $69 a month for a two-year term. Free.
Compatibility Higher match. A perfect match for baby and a 75% chance of being a partial match for siblings, reducing risk of post-transplant graft-versus-host disease (GVHD)(1). Suitable match. Public recipients will need to be a suitable match for transplant. GVHD is estimated to occur in 60%–80% of transplants where the donor and recipient are not related.
Cost to Retrieve Free. It is approx. $45,000 to purchase from a public bank.

Cryo-Cell operates as a public cord blood bank in partnership with Duke University Medical Center. Cryo-Cell's public bank has been chosen by the HRSA of the U.S. as one of the nation's highest quality cord blood banks to help build the National Cord Blood Inventory. For a list of participating hospitals, please visit Our Public Banking Program.

1. While cord blood stored at birth is a 100% match for the child, in cases of certain genetic diseases, utilizing cells from a donor, whether a relative or unrelated individual without the same genetic mutations, is required.