In 2005, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) presented Congress with a comprehensive report on cord blood banking. The IOM recommendations call for health care providers to supply objective information on all of the cord blood banking options for expecting parents. These include private cord blood banking that enables the cord blood stem cells to be stored for the family for future use, and donation to public banks that may be used for unrelated people or research purposes.
Since 2005, the majority of states have passed their own cord blood banking laws, most of which codify the IOM recommendations into state law.
Curious about what the law says about cord blood banking in your state? Here’s a rundown of the 28 states that have passed cord blood banking legislation.
States with Cord Blood Legislation
Since 2006, Arizona has had legislation on the books that follows the Institute of Medicine’s guidelines as it relates to cord blood banking. The law encourages the widespread adoption of cord blood education from physicians to expectant parents and mandates that parents be informed about all of their umbilical cord blood banking options.
Arkansas legislators passed a bill in 2007 that encourages physicians to inform expectant parents about their cord blood banking options. The law, enacted in June of 2008, also established a taxpayer funded program whereby Arkansas residents would have the option to contribute a portion of their state income tax refunds towards a statewide cord blood banking program operated by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. The program was established as a private-public partnership between private cord blood banks and public entities.
In 2006 California passed basic legislation that follows the Institute of Medicine’s guidelines about informing expectant parents about cord blood banking options. California passed additional legislation in 2010 that charged an additional $2 fee in the cost of birth certificate copies to help fund a statewide cord blood donation program.
In 2008, Colorado passed a law that mandates that all physicians and midwives distribute information about the public donation of umbilical cord blood. In Colorado, obstetricians are not required to inform patients of the potential advantages of private cord blood banking. The Colorado law also established the Adult Stem Cells Cure Fund, an optional donation of state tax returns that helps fund public cord blood banks.
In addition to following the Institute of Medicine’s guidelines about informing expectant parents of both the public and private cord blood banking options, the Connecticut law, initially passed in 2009 and amended in 2011 created the Connecticut Umbilical Cord Blood Collection Board. This governing body oversees the cord blood educational efforts within the state. Connecticut laws also called for the formulation of a state cord blood bank that accepts public donations.
Florida was one of the first states to specifically endorse the use of educational materials provided by private cord blood banks when passing their 2011 law stating that expectant parents should be told about both public and private cord blood banking options. The Florida legislation follows the Institute of Medicine’s general guidelines on cord blood education.
In 2009, a Georgia law went into effect encouraging physicians to educate expectant parents about all forms of cord blood banking. The basic law included no other provisions other than a recommendation to follow the Institute of Medicine’s guidelines.
Illinois has passed significant cord blood legislation, beginning in 2007 and continuing into the following decade. The initial bill followed the Institute of Medicine’s guidelines and encourages physicians to educate expectant parents about both private cord blood banking and public donation options. Further legislation endorsed the use of both private and public banks formally. Illinois law further calls for a network of public banks to operate jointly underneath the guidance of the Department of Public Health Powers and Duties.
The Indiana legislature authorized the state Secretary of Human Services to form an Indiana non-profit corporation that will collect cord blood donations, plus donations of other perinatal tissues. The Indiana legislation is very unusual in that it explicitly calls for the collection of "other perinatal tissues.” However, the state never formed a non-profit to collect them. Since 2010, an independent non-profit has been operating in many Indiana hospitals to collect donations of cord blood and birth tissues for distribution to cord blood banks and/or tissue banks. Indiana law Act 315, enacted in July of 2016 requires medical professionals to distribute information to pregnant women about cord blood donation.
Louisiana passed state legislation around cord blood education in 2008 that follows the Institute of Medicine guidelines and encourages physicians to educate expectant parents about all forms of cord blood banking by the end of the second trimester or twenty-eighth week of pregnancy.
Maryland law mandates physicians to deliver cord blood banking information on public banks. An additional measure has been passed that makes private funding and grants available to hospitals that provide cord blood transplants to adults.
Massachusetts has passed laws that very specifically address cord blood education. Since 2005, hospitals are required to inform all pregnant women in the third trimester that they have options to donate their cord blood to a public bank. The law also established a public education program under the Department of Health that encourages physicians to inform expectant mothers of the private cord blood bank options at their disposal as well.
Michigan has state legislation since 2007 to create educational materials that follow the Institute of Medicine’s guidelines that all cord blood banking options should be discussed with expectant parents prior to delivery.
Missouri has fully endorsed the Institute of Medicine’s guidelines through formal legislation in 2011, and went one step further to explicitly encourage the use of educational resources that educate parents on private cord blood banking options prior to the commencement of the third trimester.
The New Jersey state legislature was ahead of their peers in other states, having created the first statewide umbilical cord blood donation program in 2005. Budget difficulties slowed the programs growth in subsequent years, but they continue to collect and bank cord blood donated from both New Jersey and neighboring states. As of 2008, health care professionals must inform a pregnant patient as early as possible, preferably in the first trimester, of all medically appropriate cord blood banking options. The legislation also includes a provision for the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services to make an educational brochure available.
New Mexico passed a simple law that encourages physicians to educate their patients on public cord blood bank options following the commencement of the third trimester. The New Mexico bill was enacted on March 19, 2005 and became effective on January 1, 2006.
New York originally passed a law following the Institute of Medicine’s guidelines about educating expectant parents on both public and private cord blood banking options. The law, however, was later repealed.
All expectant parents in North Carolina should receive information from their physician about cord blood banking options, both public and private, according to legislation passed in 2009.
The legislation requires the North Carolina Department of Health to provide expectant parents and providers with educational resources about cord blood stem cells and the options for preserving them.
As of 2012, North Dakota put legislation in place that encourages healthcare professionals to educate pregnant women about all medically appropriate cord blood banking options.
Ohio residents who are expectant parents can expect their physician to educate them on both public and private forms of cord blood banking, following a 2010 law that mandates physicians follow Institute of Medicine guidelines and the use of educational materials that educate the public on both cord blood banking alternatives.
Since 2008, Oklahoma has state legislation around cord blood education that follows the Institute of Medicine guidelines and mandates physicians to educate expectant parents about all forms of cord blood banking.
Pennsylvania passed legislation related to cord blood education in 2008 that follows the Institute of Medicine guidelines and states physicians must inform expectant parents about all forms of cord blood banking prior to the end of the second trimester .
Since 2008, Rhode Island has state legislation around cord blood education that follows the Institute of Medicine guidelines and requires physicians to educate expectant parents about all forms of cord blood banking.
In Tennessee, as of 2010, the Department of Health has adopted educational materials that encourage parents to explore both public donation and private cord blood banking options. Their law calls for physicians to follow the Institute of Medicine’s guidelines.
Beginning in 2008, Texas enacted state legislation around cord blood education that follows the Institute of Medicine guidelines and mandates that physicians educate expectant parents about all forms of cord blood banking by distributing brochures before the third trimester of a woman's pregnancy, or as soon as reasonably feasible. The Texas Department of Health is also tasked to educate the public about programs that offer free family cord blood storage when the family has an existing medical need.
Virginia was the first state to pass legislation where the bill itself explicitly endorses the use of educational materials that explain the benefits of both public donation and private cord blood banking. The bill became effective July 1, 2010. Virginia also has state legislation around cord blood education that follows the Institute of Medicine guidelines.
Effective as of 2010, Washington has state legislation around cord blood education that follows the Institute of Medicine guidelines.
Since 2005, Wisconsin physicians are required to inform expectant parents (prior to the 35th week of pregnancy) about public donation of cord blood.