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Adoption Questions about Drug Use During Pregnancy

Are you making an adoption plan and are worried about disclosing drug or alcohol use during pregnancy?  Then this article is for you.  In it I will discuss the importance of:

  • Disclosing drug and alcohol use to prospective adoptive parents
  • Talking with  your OBGYN about prescription and recreational drug use
  • Informing the pediatrician of baby’s exposure to drugs or alcohol
  • Protecting yourself and your baby from child protective services

Disclosing drug or alcohol use to prospective adoptive parents

drug and alcohol use during pregnancySome expectant mothers will feel uncomfortable disclosing to adoptive parents any drug or alcohol use during pregnancy.  They worry that their ideal adoptive parents won’t want their baby if they know about drug or alcohol use.

While it’s true that some adoptive parents may not be open to drug or alcohol use during pregnancy, many wouldn’t hesitate to adopt a baby with this exposure.  This is because adoptive parents receive a lot of education about drug and alcohol use.  They understand the risks of this during pregnancy.  While they might prefer that the baby wasn’t exposed to drugs or alcohol during pregnancy, it won’t make them  change their minds about adopting.

However, no one appreciates being lied to in any case.  Here are four really good reasons to be honest with adoptive parents.

  • The best parents for your baby are the ones you can be honest with and who will be honest with you.
  • Provide the adoptive parents with information so they can take the best possible care of your baby.
  • Avoid surprises at the hospital if you or your baby are drug tested.

Almost every hospital I know will routinely test for drug use if you haven’t received prenatal care.  If you test positive, the hospital will probably report this to child protective services.  This puts the adoption at risk.  Child protective services is less likely to intervene in the adoption if everyone knows about the drug use ahead of time.

Talk with your OBGYN about recreational and prescription drug use

Some prescription drugs are dangerous during pregnancy.  Many recreational drugs  are less harmful  than alcohol use.  Talk with  your doctor about any drug or alcohol use during pregnancy and be informed.  Share with her what you’ve taken, when and how often.

You also need accurate information about the impact of these substances and need to make informed decisions.  Your doctor also needs accurate information  to take the best care of  you and your baby.

Your doctor needs this information to take special precautions and to order tests that can significantly improve the outcome of the  pregnancy, labor and delivery.  For example, alcohol during certain stages can cause developmental issues.  During other stages it may cause low blood pressure or fetal or newborn sluggishness. If the doctors can identify causes for health problems, they have a much better chance of giving your birth child the highest level of care.

Informing the pediatrician of baby’s exposure to drugs or alcohol

pediatrician providing best care for babyBaby’s pediatrician needs to know as much information about the prenatal environment as early as possible.  Potential health issues related to drug use may be minor or serious.  They may show up during pregnancy, at birth, or much later. It is best for the pediatrician to have full knowledge of any drug or alcohol use during pregnancy as early as possible, so they can provide the best care at birth and throughout childhood.

Pediatricians also need to be on the look out for specific risks, so they can take preventative measures of care. Putting your baby’s health first should always be the top goal.

 

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Are you pregnant and thinking about adoption for your baby? I can help. You can send me your questions about adoption or ask me to send you more information. Your communication with me is always confidential, and you’re never under any obligation to do an adoption. I’m here to help, not to pressure you or tell you what to do.

Sincerely,

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Megan Cohen, Birth Attorney

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