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Adopting Premature Babies

28 weeks and possible meth exposure

Good morning! I have been lurking a bunch, but this is my first post.

My husband and I have been in the adoption process for about a year (long due to family issues that sprang up), but we began the “search” just a couple of weeks ago.

Then it happened. We got a call last night about a mom who gave birth prematurely. We are talking 28 weeks. Not only that the baby may have been exposed to meth as mom tested positive.

We are waiting to hear more today.

So of course we are excited and concerned. I have been doing constant research on premature babies and meth and I have read positive stories and negative ones. And of course we are concerned that if mom did meth, that she may have drank as well.

Does ANYONE have any experience or advice?!

Thank you in advance.
- See more at:….premature_positble_meth_exposure/#sthash.4BJUUp4Z.dpuf


We adopted a 28 weeker from the hospital that was substance exposed (cocaine not meth). She is now 16 months and thriving! She needed P/T until about 12 months. We could not love her more! If say ask about acid reflux and whether baby has had any brain bleeds. I’d be very cautious about a bleed at grade 3 or higher. Good luck!

Posted by mrm1664 on Jul 10, 2014 at 4:17pm

We are in the process of adopting preemie twins born at 28 weeks back in March.  They were 2lbs and 2lbs 2oz at birth. We are still in the NICU and hoping to be discharged by the end of July.  Our birthmom had no drug exposure or drinking, but did not have any steroids prior to birth, as it was an emergency c-section.  Lung development is our primary issue and even after 4 months in the NICU they will be going home on oxygen.

You need to ask LOTS of questions to the doctors and nurses to determine if you are up for the situation and then be prepared for a long road.  Specifically questions about the babies weight, pre-natal care, mom having steroids, situation around labor & delivery, complications of meth exposure, heart issues (PDA present), brain damage or bleeds, is the baby breathing on it’s own, digestive issues (NEC) and I’m sure many more.

For us it has been a long roller coaster ride and we’re still not home yet.  I have essentially dropped everything and put my life on hold to “carry” these babies through their last trimester.  It has been emotional and complicated and stressful, but SOO worth it.

Please feel free to PM me.

Posted by michelemg on Jul 10, 2014 at 4:17pm

My 9 yr old daughter was exposed to poly-substances.  She’s going into 4th grade at our local private school but her life has been a constant stream of therapies, meds, tutors, and supports.  And her exposure was mild.  It’s a leap of faith.  You will need excellent insurance, patience, and lots of love if you go forward with the placement.  Go to, the special needs forum for exposed children.  There is lots of wonderful support and information there.  A year old baby-great no problems!  You need to take a long look at what the future may hold.  Many of these issues do not manifest until school age.  Every case is different but you are taking on a known risk.  I do not enjoy being the voice of gloom and doom, my daughter is easy to love but difficult to parent.

Posted by double r on Jul 11, 2014 at 4:57pm

I adopted a 25-weeker with multiple substance exposure.  He’s three now, and wonderful.  Smart, funny, but he also has multiple medical issues and delays. He has cerebral palsy, mild asthma, feeding issues, developmental delays, etc.  these are all common issues with very early preemies.  It’s really a crapshoot. A lot of these kids come away with no issues, some have mild issues, some moderate, and some very severe. When we were matched, we were told he may come home on oxygen. He ended up not needing the oxygen, but he had some feeding issues. We didn’t realize anything else was going on until he didn’t sit up on schedule.  We didn’t plan on being special needs parents, but we’ve made everything work.

Posted by daniotra on Jul 13, 2014 at 5:02am

Love the statement from double r ... “My daughter is easy to love but difficult to parent.

Posted by BB on Jul 13, 2014 at 2:22pm

This post was in July.  Did you decided to take the plunge?  My daughter was 35 weeks, which is hardly preterm these days, but she was addicted to heroin and methadone.  I know this might sound trite, but we decided to look at the news that she was drug exposed as if my wife was carrying the baby.  We could no easier terminated the adoption as terminate the pregnancy.  Our daughter is now four.  She is a delight, but the drug addition has left her will little ability to manage stress.  She still has night terrors and nightmares. As was stated earlier, drug exposure may have life long effects and are mostly reveled at school age.  I say parenting is not for the weak, but parenting drug exposed children is only for those with courage… and heart.  Decided to go all in and be their hero.

Posted by Greg on Oct 08, 2014 at 6:57pm

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