Adoption In The News: Babies born addicted to drugs

When prospective adoptive parents begin their adoption journey at Adoption STAR, they are asked to fill out a grid of what possible health risks they would be open to in a possible match. Some of these health risks are genetic, while others are associated with the potential use of or exposure to drug and/or alcohol by an expectant parent.

This article in the Sun Sentinel explores the large increase of babies born addicted to drugs in Florida. The article said that “1,374 babies were born addicted to drugs because their mothers were users” in 2010. This number represents an increase of 42 percent from 2009 according to the article, and an increase of 290 percent from 2006, when the article said that “354 newborns were treated for drug-withdrawal syndrome.”

The article said that in most cases it is prescription drugs, such as oxycodone, and not recreational drugs, that is found in the babies system. In most cases, despite being born dependent on the narcotic and going through typical drug withdrawal, the child will not suffer long-term effects according to doctors in the article.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said that one way to lower the rate of babies born addicted to drugs is to educate women and doctors.

“…We still have to, at the very minimum, educate these women and have their (doctors) talk to them about the effects of prescription-drug use when you’re pregnant,” Bondi said in the article.

Adoption STAR recommends that you speak with a pediatrician familiar with adoption when filling out your child interest grid. For those who have already gone through this process, how did you decide what you would be open to?