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12 Tips in Adopting a Drug-Exposed Baby

Related Posts: Adopting a Drug-Exposed Baby: Making the Decision

  1. Research, research, research. Talk to professionals – pediatricians, neonatologists or genetic counselors.  They can help you feel comfortable with your decision.
  2. Enlist a professional who is familiar with substance abuse to help you determine the birth mother’s actual experience with drugs – which drugs she used, how much and at what point during the pregnancy.
  3. Find out as much as you can about the birth mother’s lifestyle choices.
  4. If you are in the midst of discussions with a birth mother who has already given birth, be sure to talk to the baby’s doctor.
  5. Have your own physician evaluate any lab reports and consider getting an ultrasound if the birthmother used cocaine.
  6. Remember that it’s often difficult to get a completely honest history from someone who uses drugs.
  7. Ask about the baby’s behavior.  Is the infant irritable, fretful and agitated or calm and responsive?  Does she react appropriately to caregivers?
  8. Remember that every situation is unique, with its own merits and drawbacks.
  9. Go into the adoption thinking that some problems might occur and be ready to deal with them when they do.
  10. If problems do arise, be aggressive in seeking professional assessments and help.  Early intervention makes a difference.
  11. Know that there is no definitive answer to questions about whether drug-exposed babies grow up predisposed to use drugs themselves.  Parent all children as if they might be attracted to drugs.
  12. Remember that environment does make a difference.  A nurturing, stimulating, loving home can make a big difference in the life of a child who was exposed to drugs.

Related Post: Words of Wisdom in Open Adoption

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Related Posts: Adopting a Drug-Exposed Baby: Making the Decision

Mother To Baby California is dedicated to providing FREE evidence-based information to mothers, healthcare professionals, and the general public about medications, alcohol, drugs of abuse, herbal supplements, chemicals, infectious diseases, and other exposures during pregnancy.

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