Mothering Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<p>Hi everyone,</p>
<p> </p>
<p>My husband and I are currently in the "search" phase of domestic adoption.  We were recently contacted by a birthmother that has been on methadone for the past five years.  She has not taken any other drugs besides the methadone.  Her first son who is now two-years-old was born was she was taking methadone and so far he has no other issues besides asthma, which, of course, cannot be necessarily attributed to the methadone. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>We are well aware of the risk of NAS and that alone is not a "deal-breaker" for us?  However, we do not feel as well-informed about long-term effects.  Some sources have told us that there are none while others have said there is no way of knowing whether or not there are. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>So, here's my real question to people who may have experience with babies only exposed to methadone and no other drug:</p>
<p> </p>
<p>If we are not truly open to a special needs adoption, should we adopt this baby?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Now, I need to further explain that we know that no baby is guaranteed to be "special-need-free."  Of course, it is always a possibility and if our baby whoever he/she is did have special needs, we would love him/her just the same. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Alright.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Thanks so much.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
150 Posts
<p>Our son was born addicted to Methadone. From what I have been told by numerous doctors--all of the studies show that Methadone, used under the supervision of a doctor, has no long term effects.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Our son has several disabilities but his Birthmother used Methadone as a street drug and there is no way of knowing how frequently or how excessively she used. There is also a good possibility that our son was exposed to other drugs and alcohol. We also know that their are generational mental health issues in our sons birth family (which contributed to his Birthmother and Birthfather's drug use) and those are things that we are seeing take shape in our son.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>If your emom is under doctors care, taking the prescribed amount of medication and not drinking or using other drugs, I would venture to say that you would have a perfectly healthy child. Be prepared for withdraws (which are hard to watch and wait through) but other than that I can't see a problem. </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
564 Posts
<p>I am in a pain management program at a local university hospital. My dr. has many pregnant patients who take opiates on a daily basis. I also know he prescribes methadone for many of his patients - but not sure about the pregnant ones. I recommend contacting a pain management dr./specialist at a nearby teaching/university hospital for some insight into how this might effect an unborn child. I will also add that I was prescribed an opiate medication for a short time during my pregnancy by my obgyn - again, not methadone. My ds is healthy, happy, and tested cognitively a year ahead of his age.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>ETA: there are two types of pain specialists out there - those that prescribe medications and those that use procedures - epidurals, nerve blocks, etc. be sure to contact one who uses medications for pain control with his patients</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
866 Posts
<p>You asked, "If we are not truly open to a special needs adoption, should we adopt this baby?"</p>
<p> </p>
<p>My opinion is no. Even though lots of drug-exposed babies turn out just fine and develop normally (our baby was drug-exposed and he's developing normally) there's an increased chance that they won't be OK.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,688 Posts
<p>My niece was born addicted to methadone.  She is now six (turning seven next week) and has had no lingering effects.  She's a smart, healthy little girl and if you didn't know her back story, you'd never guess.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>She did spend her first two months in the hospital being weaned off the methadone.  She was full-term, but only weighed five pounds.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>When we found out SIL was pregnant and using heroin (the switch to methadone was made mid-pregnancy) I got online and did a bunch a research and while I don't remember any details, I came away with the impression that heroin and methadone weren't so risky to a developing fetus as compared to cigarettes and alcohol (which DN was also exposed to).</p>
<p> </p>
<p>The bigger worry for DN that I have, frankly, is the genetic predisposition towards drug and alcohol abuse. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Best wishes.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,834 Posts
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>marsupial-mom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1287055/methadone-exposure#post_16139771"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>You asked, "If we are not truly open to a special needs adoption, should we adopt this baby?"</p>
<p> </p>
<p>My opinion is no. Even though lots of drug-exposed babies turn out just fine and develop normally (our baby was drug-exposed and he's developing normally) there's an increased chance that they won't be OK.</p>
</div>
</div>
<p><br>
The research doesn't support what you're saying.  Sorry, but that's the truth.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>mariaz is right: if it's a methadone maintenance program, there should be no long-term effects from the methadone.  In fact, research on heroin and crack babies (long-term studies) show that unless the child is living with the addict, there are no long-term major issues unless the use is so serious that it causes issues that are identifiable at birth (and usually related to prematurity).</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Alcohol is another story, and people who are not in a maintenance program will soften the crash from their high with alcohol OFTEN.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Find out the dosage of the methadone.  The higher the dosage, the longer it can take for withdrawal to kick in.  We fostered an infant whose mother's dose was so high that it took 3 weeks for withdrawal to kick in.  I had to actually hand a copy of the research stating that this was even possible (the neonatalogist at that hospital had never handled a methadone baby  <img alt="irked.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/irked.gif"> ).</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
<p>Our daughter's birth mom took prescriptive pain meds. throughout her pregnancy. I am unsure of the dosage. I know that she was supposed to stop before her last trimester but she did not. Our daughter was born a few weeks early and was around 5 lbs at birth. The reading my husband and I did at the time gave us the impression that off all the things that could have been done during pregnancy, this was rather benign. She is a healthy active 5 yo today. Back at the beginning, she started off needing to be fed a special way as she had little sucking reflex. We fed her many small meals. She did experience some developmental delays, and we had occupational therapy to help her make gains developmentally. She still experiences some delays with fine motor skills. Our daughter also has some sensory issues which may or may not be related to prenatal, genetics stuff. This has been greatly mediated by OT. I think she will be testing out of OT next month. She does experience ADHD. This we have been told can be attributed to the drug use. Is it really? I don't know I have not read enough evidence-based articles to support or refute this claim. Our daughter is who she is, a very kind, loving, and sweet little girl who I would not trade for the whole world.</p>
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,834 Posts
<p>I find it remarkable when "specialists" try to attribute very mainstream and (unfortunately) common issues like ADHD to drug or alcohol use during pregnancy simply because they know the child's history.  Interestingly, nobody has ever suggested that as the cause of my bio son's insane ADHD... hmmm...  Nor did they suggest it about his profound and severe developmental delays that required almost every therapy Early Intervention offered for up to 20 hours/week, seizures, etc. (with absolutely no family health history of anything even remotely related).</p>
<p> </p>
<p>It's frustrating because I run into people that don't want to adopt domestically or through the state systems because they don't want a child with issues when in reality, most of them don't come with issues that you wouldn't wind up with in your own biological children.  I'm not talking about the countless waiting children--who are often left waiting either because they have more serious issues (or sometimes, just because of a combination of their age and race  :(  ).  I'm talking about the larger numbers of children who never make it to the wait-lists.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Please don't misunderstand: I'm not by ANY MEANS trying to push anyone to adopt a severely special needs child.  I've had one and I don't really wish it for anyone.  I certainly love my son, and after many very difficult years--he's a different child.  But it was an incredibly difficult journey.  It's just frustrating to see mainstream and very manageable issues attributed to things that have never been proven to be related to prenatal drug or alcohol use (like ADHD) and hopeful adoptive parents wind up with a difficult process become all the more difficult over it.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
150 Posts
My son was born dependent on methadone, and my dose is very high and Ive been on it for almost 10 years. he is huge, healthy and smart! (cute too, lol) NAS is common, but not a big issue, it will be handled in the hospital. My son was detoxed in NICU for several weeks. But, after the baby is detoxed, it will be fine, there are no long term problems with methadone exposure, it's one of the MOST studied medicines in pregnant women.<br><br>
You should also know that if the mom is on a methadone clinic, they WIlL be screening her for illegal drugs weekly, they are very serious about this, the restrictions are tight. as long as she stays on her medicine (which is what MMT is when prescribed) the baby will be fine.<br><br>
There is a site for moms on methadone, check it out, the moderators are great and will help you with all the facts, not just stories. it's the MOM program, Google Moms on Methadone. it's out of a hospital on the East Coast. Sharon Dembriski RN runs it, and the other mod is Jessica.<br><br>
don't let this scare you away from the baby! I was adopted too,and love my family very much.<br><br>
Good luck, I hope this helped.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
150 Posts
Oh, my son was born at term, to the day, and was 9#, 2 oz, 21" long. I didn't do anything other than my MMT during pregnancy, and hadn't touched an illegal drug in 9+ years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
<p>I really appreciate everyone's input.  newsolamomma2, I actually spoke to Sharon Dembriski on the phone and she was very helpful.  Basically, my husband and I came to a decision that we did not think the effects that are often associated with methadone exposure were serious enough to stop us from adopting this baby.  We felt, as heatherdeg was saying, that they are issues that are very common in many children that have completely healthy and normal gestations.  Our plan was to simply wait for the medical records, show them to a doctor, and go on from there.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Unfortunately, the birthmom stopped contacting us.  It was very strange and very sudden, but it happened.  She seemed extremely committed to the adoption each time we spoke and she often initiated contact in the two weeks or so after we first spoke, but last weekend, she simply stopped responding to my texts and did not return my last phone call.  I hope for her sake, whatever the reason, this is the right decision for her. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Totally off topic, but I just don't understand this "aspect" of the adoption journey.  So many birthmothers just fade away.  It would be so much easier if they called and just told us the truth that they had changed their minds or chose another couple.  Not knowing is just so frustrating.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Anyway, thank you all.  If we are contacted by another birthmother on methadone, we now have a large amount of information under our belts. </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
413 Posts
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>wannabemom2</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1287055/methadone-exposure#post_16167368"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a>Totally off topic, but I just don't understand this "aspect" of the adoption journey.  So many birthmothers just fade away.  It would be so much easier if they called and just told us the truth that they had changed their minds or chose another couple.  Not knowing is just so frustrating.</div>
</div>
<p><br>
It is hard. After two weeks of no contact with a mom that <em>was</em> choosing us, I just sent her a sweet email that said I was thinking of her and wondering if she changed her mind and if she did that is okay and I still wish her all the best. She emailed me back saying yes I changed my mind. I think she just didn't want to hurt us and didn't want to confront it.</p>
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top