I haven’t made up my mind about it yet, but I am pretty sure it’s all a waste of money for the following reasons:
- It smells like a scam … just like ULIPs, endowments, child plans, etc:
- “Do it for the kids!”
- “You need it. We know better.”
- Nobody really knows whether and how long cord cells can remain viable in cryogenic storage.
- Recent research indicates that it will soon be practical to reprogram somatic cells to do what you need … basically researches have managed to use cells from skin, teeth, bone marrow in rather interesting regeneration procedures, like reconstructing a windpipe using stem cells from the bone marrow.
- The cord cells have the same genetic defects as the child, so they can’t be used to treat leukemia etc.
Given all this, it makes quite a lot of sense to donate those cord cells, either to a public bank, or to stem cell research, rather than spending money on storing them. In the long term, it seems the preserved cord cells will be mostly unnecessary. But I don’t think either of these alternatives are very interesting in India yet!