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Kidney transplants for children are necessary when their kidneys cannot function properly. The most common reasons for kidney transplants in kids are congenital abnormalities, which means they are born with kidneys that didn’t develop correctly. These abnormalities can make the kidneys work poorly or not at all. Some children have genetic disorders that affect their kidneys, like polycystic kidney disease or inherited metabolic disorders, which can cause kidney failure. Severe kidney damage from infections, urinary tract problems, or autoimmune diseases like lupus nephritis can also lead to the need for a kidney transplant. Rare conditions such as Alport syndrome or systemic diseases affecting multiple organs can contribute to kidney failure in children. When a child’s kidneys can no longer perform their essential functions, a kidney transplant can improve their quality of life and overall health.


Helpful Resources:

This is not an exhaustive list. Please email us at: if you would like to add a resource to this list.

Pediatric Kidney Transplant: A Guide for Patients and Families by the American Society of Transplantation

Questions and Answers for Transplant Candidates about Kidney Allocation by United Network of Organ Sharing

Frequently Asked Questions about Kidney Transplant Evaluation and Listing by United Network of Organ Sharing

OPTN Kidney Paired Organ Donation Pilot Program by United Network of Organ Sharing


American Association of Kidney Patients:

As the oldest and largest, independent kidney patient organization in the U.S. – AAKP is dedicated to improving the lives and long-term outcomes of kidney patients through education, advocacy, patient engagement and the fostering of patient communities. 

American Kidney Fund:

The American Kidney Fund fights kidney disease on all fronts as the nation's leading kidney nonprofit  — from prevention through post-transplant living.

Improving Renal Outcomes Collaborative (IROC):

To partner with patients with kidney disease and their caregivers to achieve health, longevity, and quality of life equivalent to the general population.

National Kidney Foundation (NKF):

The National Kidney Foundation, a major voluntary nonprofit health organization, is dedicated to preventing kidney and urinary tract diseases, improving the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by kidney disease and increasing the availability of all organs for transplantation.

Renal Support Network:  

Lori Hartwell founded Renal Support Network (RSN) in 1993 to empower people who have kidney disease to become knowledgeable about their illness, proactive in their care, hopeful about their future and make friendships that last a lifetime.

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