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Any experience with Cocaine in uterine exposure? Please help

We have a very sad story and I need your help in telling me your feedback/ opinion.
We are working with a private agency and after all the financial dues were paid, paperwork done, Homestudy, lifescan etc. we were marketed and we got the call after 18 months of hopeful & prayerful waiting. The mother needed assistance with everything (clothing, food, residence, phone calls, transportation ... etc) so we offered it. She was an IV heroin addict, we agreed. Then we paid for her rehab visits where they gave her Methadone 50mg to try to reduce the withdrawals after delivery as much as they can. Then right near to her due date we were shocked to know that she had a drug urine test and did some self reporting too. She was using street Liquid Methaone 20mls every other day, IV heroin, cocaine, benzodiazepines, smoking daily all throughout her pregnancy.
I felt very uncomfortable going forward. The fees were all non- refundable. Almost 43,000$ until now.
I just was so overwhelmed by cocaine! Scared to death! Could not handle all this inutero drug exposure.
I feel I did the right thing. I want to hear your opinions, this will really help me because everyone is blaming me for letting go of the adoption. Any one here had any experience with COCAINE?


a lot of the fears about the long term development of “crack babies” ended up being false, as the kids got older they just didn’t show the severe development and behavioral problems that were originally predicted. in general the research has shown that they are more likely to have subtle attention, behavioral and learning problems long term, although there are plenty of kids who end up being just fine. my daughter is 19 months old; she’s adopted through foster care so I didn’t have her from birth, but foster mom reports that she was a sweet baby who was easy to calm, so she didn’t match the stereotypical fussy and irritable crack baby, and now she is a very happy toddler. no signs of problems yet, but it’s early. for you,  it could end up a perfect match but there are some risks’s ok if you don’t feel comfortable with the risks, you don’t have to justify your decision to anyone but yourself.

Posted by rn4kidz on Mar 28, 2017 at 7:58pm

Alcohol can do more damage depending on how much and when consumed during pregnancy. There are no guarantees but cocaine doesn’t cause the permanent brain damage that alcohol does.

It is a risk and only you can decide whether you want to take the risk

Posted by Regina on Mar 28, 2017 at 11:33pm

Also a part of raising a child in the US is usually a connection with the birth family. So it is wise to know your own limits and not feel you have to apologize for them.

Posted by Happy Camper on Mar 29, 2017 at 12:26pm

You feel you did the right thing, so you did. Don’t question yourself if the decision has already been made. Feeling how you did, you might have been tied up in anxiety knots for years, questioning at every milestone if any delays were related to the drug exposure etc.  Trust your instincts, you made the right choice for you at the time. If you get new information, then maybe you will make a different decision if this same scenario comes up again. Maybe not. Please do not get weighed down by regret or second guessing yourself. Adoption is a hard process, trust yourself.

Posted by wannabe on Apr 11, 2017 at 7:18am

Sorry, but just reread your post. Who has the right to blame you?! Forget those people. They aren’t living your life, they aren’t the one responsible for raising the child you adopt. You and your partner (if you have one) are the only ones that get to make these decisions. People need to mind their own business. And if it is the agency, or the expectant mother who is judging you, I can see this decision would be hard on them. But, you would be expected to accept the expectant mother’s decision if she changed her mind. Your decision needs to be respected to. There is a family out there that is the right one for her baby. And there is a baby out there that is the right one for your family. Please be kind to yourself and give yourself peace and acceptance that you know what’s best for you.

Posted by wannabe on Apr 11, 2017 at 7:24am

While cocaine, alone, isn’t necessarily going to cause the degree of impairment that people initially believed that it would, there is not yet a body of literature on the combined effects of cocaine, methadone, heroin, benzodiazapines, and tobacco. on a developing fetus. My guess is that the effects aren’t just additive, with each substance causing a minor trauma to the brain; they are actually mulitiplicative, with the interaction of the drugs intensifying the trauma that each causes on its own.

Personally, unless you were very committed to adopting a child with poly-drug exposure from the outset, I think that walking away from this particular situation was probably the right move for you.  Aside from the fact that the child probably had a significantly greater risk of physical, cognitive, and behavioral impairments from the exposure to multiple drugs than he/she would have had with only heroin exposure, you would have had a birthmother whom you knew to be very deceitful. 

Now, many alcoholics and drug addicts lie—about when in pregnancy they used a substance, about how much they used at one time, and about how often they used it. Alcoholics and addicts are not very trustworthy people, and can sometimes make open adoption very challenging for an adoptive family.

But this woman seems to have gone well beyond the usual lying; it seems that she consciously manipulated your agency and you into covering a lot of costs, including extensive heroin rehab, knowing full well that she was using multiple substances and not really inclined to quit doing so. This is not the kind of person that you would have wanted to have as an honorary member of your family; unless you were very experienced in dealing with addicts, and firm in setting boundaries, she could have made your life miserable—constantly trying to get you to pay her bills, constantly trying to change your rules on contact, constantly bad-mouthing you to others, constantly trying to tell your child that SHE is his/her “real” mother, and so on.

Trust your gut.  My guess is that you did the right thing.  Yes, you lost a heck of a lot of money, but if you can afford to persevere, you WILL find the child—and the birthmother—that will be perfect for your family.  Take some time to grieve for the child that was not meant to be yours.  Politely tell all the second-guessers that, much as you would have liked to adopt the child, you could not deal with a poly-drug situation and a hyper-manipulative birthmother.  Tell them that you need time to grieve, but that the right child for your family is out there waiting for you.  And if they persist in second-guessing, take the phone off the hook.


Posted by sak9645 on Apr 11, 2017 at 8:35am
Posted by sak9645 on Apr 11, 2017 at 8:37am

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