For most women, becoming a mother is the greatest pleasure in life. For some, drug abuse takes precedence over motherhood, and reports show that in 2016, about 92,000 children were taken into child custody because of parental drug abuse. In Maryland and elsewhere, experts say removing a child from its parents can cause trauma even for those very young.
Many mothers who abuse drugs or are in a methadone treatment program often have babies born addicted and suffering from opioid withdrawal. In these cases, children are taken to a foster care program, some directly from the hospital. The results of this were devastating to mothers, and most relapsed, further reducing the chance of reuniting with their child.
Local hospitals are looking at a different approach to help these new moms by working with them during their pregnancy. They are enlisting family members to help new mothers retain custody by supporting them and helping them balance drug treatment programs and the responsibilities of motherhood. The program creates a sense of belonging for the women and gives them hope for the future.
The opioid epidemic is a constant battle for residents of Maryland and other states. Entire families are feeling the effect of addiction, especially the children who are born addicted and often end up in foster care. Family members who have concerns about the children of a parent who abuses drugs may benefit from contacting an attorney. A lawyer who has experience in child custody cases can determine what approach to take that will be in the best interest of the child.