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Old 04-13-2008, 08:22 PM   #1
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Anyone parenting a baby who was exposed to drugs or alcohol pre-birth?

We are applying to be foster parents and our social worker is strongly recommending that we become a medical foster family. On the first tier of the medical spectrum are mostly drug exposed babies. We would only be fostering for the first year, so problems that occur later in life would not affect us now (unless we adopt, of course), but I am not sure exactly what the effects would be. The social worker told us that, on average, drug exposed babies cry about 6 hours a day, about double what a non-exposed baby would cry. Other than that, she said the day-to-day routine would be about the same. I'm just afraid that if we agree to do this, we might be overwhelmed and not the best parents that we could be. The advantage, though, would be that we would probably be able to keep the baby for longer and be more likely to be able to adopt him/her, because "healthy" babies are usually adopted to people who have been waiting for a while very quickly. It would be nice to be able to raise one baby for longer and be able to adopt. I'm just wondering if there are any other foster or adoptive parents who have experience with this and could let us know how difficult it really is. Thanks!

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Old 04-13-2008, 09:02 PM   #2
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Re: Anyone parenting a baby who was exposed to drugs or alcohol pre-birth?

My son was born addicted to methadone, and had to detox after birth. No, he wasn't adopted and wasn't a foster child. I was a heroin addict and after finding out I was pregnant got on methadone. His detox was rough, he did cry a lot, but it only lasted about 3 weeks. After I was allowed to take him home, it was pretty smooth sailing. We were given phenobarbital to help him sleep, and he had a little bit of diarrhea, but he was a pretty calm baby overall. I didn't even finish out the script, because he was sleeping fine and we didn't need it. I've never had any experience with babies exposed to meth or coke, but from what I've read, those babies are more often the ones that have the long-term issues and are at higher risk for being born preterm.

I think it's a really awesome thing that you're doing mama. The NICU nurses would always tell me stories about the babies who ended up staying there for 6 months because there was no one there to take them. So props to you mama, and good luck with it all!
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Old 04-14-2008, 01:50 AM   #3
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Re: Anyone parenting a baby who was exposed to drugs or alcohol pre-birth?

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Old 04-14-2008, 08:54 AM   #4
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Re: Anyone parenting a baby who was exposed to drugs or alcohol pre-birth?

I have some adopted 1 bother and 1 Sister that were Coke babies and one brother that has fetal alcohol syndrome. You can PM me if you want I can try and answer questions for you.
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Old 04-14-2008, 01:18 PM   #5
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Re: Anyone parenting a baby who was exposed to drugs or alcohol pre-birth?

Thanks, guys! I'm glad little Asher is doing so well, and what a cute name!
I called today and we are now signed up to provide respite care (basically babysitting for foster parents) for medical foster families. It will give us a chance to see first-hand what it might be like. I'll let you all know again later and I'm sure we'll have more questions.
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Old 05-10-2008, 03:40 PM   #6
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Re: Anyone parenting a baby who was exposed to drugs or alcohol pre-birth?

Erinne -
WE have 5 month old twin foster babies right now that were born coke addicted , bm also admitted to doing heroin 2 day s before birth. I think anymore they detox before leaving the hospital so they can control it & have it be gradual. The boys don't cry very much but are a little more sensitive to quick movements & bright lights.
What state are you in?
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