What do you need to know about fostering/adopting a child that may have prenatal exposure to opiates? Host Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of Creating a Family, the national infertility & adoption education and support nonprofit, interviews:

Evette Horton, an Assistant Professor and Director of Child Clinical Services in the UNC Horizons Program, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She specializes in working with children exposed to parental substance use and infant mental health.

Danielle Goodman, an adoption social worker who works with families who have adopted children who have been exposed prenatally to opiates.

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* Note this is an automatic transcription, please forgive the errors.

Hit the Highlights
  • What drugs are included in the category of opiates?
  • How do opiates affect a fetus?
  • Do most pregnant women who are addicted use throughout their pregnancy?
  • How can you tell if the baby is born dependent on opiates?
  • What are the symptoms of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)?
  • Which drugs are more likely to cause NAS?
  • Are the impacts different if the baby is not born dependent on opiates? Does NAS indicate that the child will suffer greater disabilities from the opiate exposure?
  • How is NAS treated in the hospital?
  • What can parents expect at the hospital when a baby is born dependent or was exposed prenatally?
  • How long in hospital?
  • What can parents expect when they first bring the baby home?
  • What are the greatest challenges parents faces when they come home?
  • Do children with NAS have more sleep issues?
  • What can parents do to help their baby exposed to opiates sleep through the night?
  • What are some tips for dealing with and helping a baby who was exposed to opiates?
  • How long do the physical symptoms last?
  • As a foster parent or adoptive parent, how to handle feelings of anger at the birth mother for using drugs during her pregnancy?
  • How to help the birth mother with her feeling of guilt and regret for having used drugs during pregnancy? How can grandparents who are raising grandchildren who were prenatally exposed help their adult children who used opiated during pregnancy?
  • What resources are available to help families who are raising babies exposed to opiates?
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Image credit: Toshimasa Ishibashi