Recently I came across a newspaper article about “ drug babies.” I am sure that there are kinder words used to describe babies of mothers (and even fathers) who used drugs before and during pregnancy. But as a non-smoker, usually teetotaler, and a non-pill popper, I will perhaps be humanely incorrect and write about my first awareness of “drug babies.”
As a resident and an assistant to the nurse in the Methodist Home Hospital in the summer of 1970, I often overheard conversations about the health of resident mothers and even of their babies. One situation comes to my mind after all these almost 50 years of a very young mother who gave birth to a child that summer. The nurse casually mentioned that the mother had been on drugs, which I just assumed was marijuana. That was about as much as I as a north Louisiana girl knew about drug use. Anyway, the nurse seemed more concerned about the newborn baby, since the child showed definite signs of drug withdrawal. I remember that she said that the child twitched and seemed very irritated and nervous.
I still don’t know too much about drug abuse and pregnancy, but I have the feeling that there must be more incidences of adoption of babies with “hidden issues” than we will ever know.
As crude as it might seem, when you adopt a pet you get more information about the parents than when you adopt a human child.
Is that still the case?