Addiction, Pregnancy, and Choosing Adoption

Drug and Alcohol use During Pregnancy

Drugs Alcohol Use During Pregnancy: drugs and/or alcohol use during pregnancy will not prevent you from choosing adoption. If you are using drugs or alcohol use during pregnancy,  you can still choose adoption and make an adoption plan. It is important for you to be upfront about your drug and/or alcohol use with your Adoption Counselor and doctors.

Adoption Choices of Arizona works with many expectant birth mothers who use drugs and/or alcohol. Not only are we nonjudgmental, but we are also well experienced and have plenty of resources to help you through this difficult time! If you are using pregnant and using drugs and/or alcohol, you can still choose adoption and make an adoption plan.

Will an Adoptive Family Still Want my Baby?

Some birth mothers might feel uncomfortable disclosing any drug or alcohol use during pregnancy. They worry that their ideal adoptive parents won’t want their baby if they know about drug or alcohol use. While it’s true that some adoptive parents may not be open to drug or alcohol use during pregnancy, many won’t hesitate to adopt a baby who’s been exposed.

Adoptive parents receive a lot of education about drug and alcohol use. They understand the risks of this during pregnancy. While they might prefer that the baby wasn’t exposed to drugs or alcohol during pregnancy, it won’t make them change their minds about adopting.

Can I give up baby for adoption if I’m using methadone?

Yes, you can still create an adoption plan and Adoption Choices of Arizona can help. If you are interested in getting into a treatment program, we can help with that as well. We can work to find you safe housing and help you get back on your feet. We have relationships with many methadone and suboxone programs and residential treatment programs. We would be happy to make a connection to help you get what you need.

Can I give up baby for adoption if I’m using fentanyl?

Yes, you can still create an adoption plan and Adoption Choices of Arizona can help. If you are interested in getting into a treatment program, we can help with that as well. We can work to find you safe housing and help you get back on your feet. We have relationships with many programs and residential treatment. We would be happy to make a connection to help you get what you need.

Can I put my baby up for adoption if I am using or in treatment?

Yes, if you have used drugs or you are in a treatment program and you are considering adoption, contact Adoption Choices of Arizona now by calling or texting 480-900-5520 or via our contact form and we will discuss your options at no obligation. If you need help navigating any crisis pregnancy situations: we are licensed, professional, full-service adoption agencies in Arizona offering unplanned pregnancy help to women and couples. We assist with adoption in Phoenix and all across Arizona.

Will I get in trouble for drugs alcohol use during pregnancy?

As an adoption agency, we prioritize the well-being of both birth parents and the child. It’s important to acknowledge that substance use during pregnancy can have serious implications for the health and development of the baby. While our primary focus is on supporting birth parents through the adoption process, we are also committed to ensuring the safety and welfare of the child.

Our agency is here to offer support, guidance, and resources to help you navigate these complex issues. We encourage honesty and transparency throughout the adoption process, as it allows us to provide the best possible support to all parties involved. If you have concerns about substance use during pregnancy, we urge you to reach out to us or a medical professional for assistance and guidance. Your well-being and the well-being of your child are our top priorities.

How Drug and Alcohol Use Can Effect Your Baby

You and your baby are connected by the placenta and umbilical cord. Nearly everything that enters your body will be shared with your baby. This means that any drug you use will also affect your baby. A fetus is very sensitive to drugs and can’t eliminate drugs as effectively as you can. Consequently, the chemicals can build up to extremely high levels in the baby’s system and may cause permanent damage.

The risks associated with drug use during pregnancy depend on various factors, including:

  • the type of drug used
  • the point at which the drug was used
  • the number of times the drug was used

 

In general, however, using drugs during pregnancy can result in the following:

  • miscarriage
  • stillbirth
  • small size
  • low birth weight
  • premature birth
  • birth defects
  • sudden infant death syndrome
  • drug dependency in the baby

 

Here are some of the specific consequences of drug use during pregnancy:

  • Low birth weight places an infant at a higher risk for illness, intellectual disability, and even death.
  • Premature birth increases the risk of lung, eye, and learning problems in the infant.
  • Birth defects that often occur due to drug use include seizure, stroke, and intellectual and learning disabilities.
  • Fetuses can become dependent on the drug(s) the mother is using and may experience withdrawal symptoms after delivery.

 

Drug use during early pregnancy can affect the developing organs and limbs of the fetus. Even one episode of drug use during this period can affect the development of your child. In most cases, it results in a birth defect or miscarriage. Drug use later in pregnancy can affect the development of your baby’s central nervous system. After pregnancy, many drugs can pass through breast milk and harm the baby.

Using any type of illegal drug during pregnancy can have a detrimental effect on your child. Please read our information on the most commonly used drugs and how they can affect a developing baby:

Cigarettes/Tobacco

Babies who are exposed to cigarette smoke in utero are more likely to be born premature, have low birth weight, and have weaker lungs than babies whose mothers did not smoke during pregnancy. They are also more likely to die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Alcohol

When pregnant mothers drink, so do their babies, which can cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). FASDs include a variety of physical and mental disabilities as well as emotional and behavioral problems.

Marijuana

There are harmful gases in marijuana smoke that can be passed along to your baby. Smoking marijuana during pregnancy may increase the chances that your baby will have a bowel movement while inside the womb, which can cause early onset of labor and fetal distress.

Amphetamines

If you use stimulants, such as crystal methamphetamine (speed), then you are at increased risk for early placental separation, delivery of a baby with growth problems, and death of the fetus in utero.

Methadone

If you can quit using opiates altogether, it will be best for you and your baby. However, switching to methadone is better than continued heroin use. Methadone is associated with better pregnancy outcomes than heroin, but babies can still experience the narcotic withdrawal syndrome.

Opiates (Narcotics)

Opiates, also known as narcotics, include heroin and methadone. Women who use narcotics during pregnancy are at increased risk for preterm labor and delivery. They are also more likely to deliver a stillborn baby or a baby with growth problems.

Cocaine

Cocaine use during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. It can also cause premature rupture of membranes (water breaks early), early separation of the placenta, and preterm labor.

Heroin

If you use heroin during pregnancy, your baby may be born addicted to the drug. They may experience a severe, life-threatening withdrawal syndrome after delivery.

Other

Other drugs to avoid include medications: Chloromycetin, Cipro, Levaquin, Primaquine, Sulfonamides, Primal, Codeine, Ibuprofen, Coumadin, Klonopin, and Ativan. Always check with your doctor!
Cigarettes/Tobacco

Babies who are exposed to cigarette smoke in utero are more likely to be born premature, have low birth weight, and have weaker lungs than babies whose mothers did not smoke during pregnancy. They are also more likely to die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Low birth weight can lead to a variety of other health issues such as: Respiratory distress syndrome, increased risk of infection, low blood sugar, problems with feeding, and difficulty regulating body temperature.

 

Alcohol

When pregnant mothers drink, so do their babies, which can cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). FASDs include a variety of physical and mental disabilities as well as emotional and behavioral problems.

 

Marijuana

To get the full effect of marijuana, smokers need to inhale deeply and hold the smoke in their lungs for as long as possible. There are many harmful gases in marijuana smoke that can be passed along to your baby, increasing the risk for complications. Smoking marijuana during pregnancy may increase the chances that your baby will have a bowel movement while inside the womb, which can cause early onset of labor and fetal distress. Marijuana use can also result in poor growth, behavioral problems, and breathing problems.

Marijuana use should also be avoided while breast-feeding, as the drug can easily be transmitted to the baby through breast milk.

 

Cocaine

Cocaine use during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. It can also cause premature rupture of membranes (water breaks early), early separation of the placenta, and preterm labor. A baby exposed to cocaine is at a higher risk for:

  • stroke
  • poor growth
  • feeding problems
  • deformed limbs
  • brain damage
  • reproductive or urinary system abnormalities
  • sudden infant death syndrome
  • long-term behavioral problems

After pregnancy, cocaine can be transmitted to the baby through breast milk, so it shouldn’t be used while breast-feeding.

 

Opiates (Narcotics)

Opiates, also known as narcotics, include heroin and methadone. Women who use narcotics during pregnancy are at increased risk for preterm labor and delivery. They are also more likely to deliver a stillborn baby or a baby with growth problems. Babies exposed to narcotics in utero are at increased risk for neonatal death.

Heroin

If you use heroin during pregnancy, your baby may be born addicted to the drug. They may experience a severe, life-threatening withdrawal syndrome after delivery. This condition is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • high-pitched crying
  • poor feeding
  • tremors
  • irritability
  • sneezing
  • sweating
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • seizures

Your baby will need special care and medication to treat their withdrawals.

If you share needles, you should be tested for HIV and hepatitis. These infections can also cause complications in your baby.

Like cocaine and marijuana, heroin shouldn’t be used while breast-feeding.

 

Methadone

If you can quit using opiates altogether, it will be best for you and your baby. However, switching to methadone is better than continued heroin use. Methadone is associated with better pregnancy outcomes than heroin, but babies can still experience the narcotic withdrawal syndrome. Additionally, they may still be at an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome. For these reasons, it’s best to avoid using methadone during pregnancy. Methadone use of 20 milligrams or less per day is compatible with breast-feeding.

 

Amphetamines

If you use stimulants, such as crystal methamphetamine (speed), then you are at increased risk for the following problems:

  • early placental separation
  • delivery of a baby with growth problems
  • death of the fetus in utero

Amphetamines shouldn’t be used if you’re breast-feeding.

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