Let’s get straight to the point: As a prospective adoptive parent, you’re bound to face tough questions during the application process, home study, and beyond. One of the most difficult you’ll stumble upon during early questionnaires will be, “Are you willing to adopt a baby whose birth mother used drugs?” Adoption Choices of Arizona realizes this is not an easy decision to consider, and we are here to help you weigh your options! Here is what you should know about adopting a drug-exposed baby before making your final decision.
Before discussing this delicate topic, it’s important for you to understand that recent studies show that drug addicted babies show no significant differences in behavior nor academics from non-drug addicted babies. Regarding health of the infant, one of the key factors is which drug or drugs the mother used. Surprisingly, hard drugs like heroin and cocaine do not present as serious problems for infants as the legal drugs like tobacco and alcohol can. Not enough is known about the long-term effects of modern drugs.
Consider the monetary effects
There’s no saying how much money will go into treatment for a drug-exposed baby until a full analysis is given by an expert, which will be explained more in the next tip. However, it’s worth knowing that it could end with you paying a lot more than you may have initially thought. Drug tests for the mother and infant can determine whether a baby needs to undergo withdrawal. If a medically supervised withdrawal process is necessary, adoptive parents are encouraged to become actively involved, spending time cuddling and bonding with the baby. Adoption as well as post-adoption life are already expensive processes, so taking the time to think about your own budget may change your final decision.
Arrange a meeting with a neonatologist
You have every right to choose whether you are willing to adopt a drug-exposed baby based solely on what drugs the birth mother used. No one is going to know those destined effects more than a neonatologist, who concentrates specifically on newborn care. They can give the birth mother a drug test and can ascertain whether the baby will have to encounter withdrawal, among other things. This upfront meeting will give you a feel for what the first few weeks, perhaps the hardest part of the baby’s recovery, will be like, if you choose to go through with this type of adoption.
Remember: loving that baby will impact them more than any drug ever will
There’s no doubt that hard times, whether those be short-lived or long-lasting, will come alongside a drug-exposed baby. That’s to be expected, and it’s absolutely OK. The love you will undoubtedly feel for your baby will outweigh any strain you feel, and the baby will know it, too. Caring for a child, no matter the circumstances, is one of the biggest privileges in life. The love you put into nurturing your child will pay dividends in how the baby matures and, eventually, cares for his or her own family someday.
For more adoption resources, visit adoptionchoicesofarizona.org or text us at 1-480-900-5520.