Can I Choose Adoption if I Used Drugs During My Pregnancy?

by | May 19, 2023 | Birth Parent Blog

Depressed woman seated on the floor of her apartment“I have been using drugs during my pregnancy. I’m thinking about adoption but now I’m worried that it’s not a choice I can make. Will anyone want to adopt my baby? Can I still put my baby up for adoption?”
Yes! Whether you are currently using or have used drugs in the past and stopped, please understand that this has no effect on whether or not you can make an adoption plan for your baby. There are no adoption requirements that would prevent you from placing your child due to drug usage. Lifetime is here to help you create an adoption plan without judgment. You can call or text us to learn more at 1-800-923-6784 anytime, even right now!
If you think you might test positive for drugs at your baby’s birth, making an adoption plan can prevent the state from becoming involved through Child Protective Services. With adoption, you have a say in what happens to your baby, and you can even keep in touch with the adoptive family after the adoption.

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Finding the Right Adoptive Parents

While we encourage women to make healthy choices during pregnancy, there are many adoptive families who would be excited to be chosen by you, no matter your usage history.
Lifetime has adoptive families ready to adopt a baby who was exposed to prenatal drug use. Plus, Lifetime’s adoptive families have the support and resources needed to help them parent your baby. You can also maintain an open adoption after placement, where you keep in touch with the adoptive parents and your child as they grow up.
Lifetime encourages you to be as open and honest as you can when working with us. By being as honest as possible, our adoption professionals can help find the right adoptive family for you.
Visit our Search Families page to choose search items that are important to you. Then, you can learn more about an adoptive couple by reading their adoption website, checking out their photos, and watching their adoption video. In addition, you can browse profiles of hopeful adoptive parents open to prenatal drug use here.

Being Truthful About Drugs During Pregnancy

Even though you’ve used drugs during your pregnancy, Lifetime can connect you with an adoptive family who will give your child a loving home. We pre-screen each potential adoptive family and ask them how comfortable they are with prenatal drug and alcohol use. If you’re honest with us about when, how much, and what you used, we’ll match you with a couple who’s open to it.
Pregnant woman seated on outdoor steps, worrying because she used drugs during pregnancySharing the truth will help the adoptive family find the right resources and make the right choices to support and raise your child. The adoptive family should learn all the info they can to raise your baby successfully. That’ll mean they need to know your child’s medical history.
Knowing that your baby was exposed to drug use will allow the adoptive parents to be ready for the care of your baby post-delivery since he or she may be born addicted. In addition, letting the hospital staff know will prepare them to help your baby wean off the drugs in the hospital.

How Lifetime Adoption Helps Women Who Use Drugs During Pregnancy

Besides helping with finding an adoptive family, Lifetime can also help you get the support you need during your pregnancy. If you used drugs before you got pregnant, it can be hard to stop. Support is needed, even though you know that stopping is best for your baby. Lifetime can connect you with a licensed therapist. Also, adoptive families in some states can help you with your medical costs.
Your Adoption Coordinator will also help you get access to prenatal care. We will share your prenatal care records and medical history with the adoptive parents you’ve chosen (with personal identifying information removed).
Please know that sharing information about having used drugs during your pregnancy will not result in any sort of punishment or consequence. Instead, this information helps us match you with adoptive parents prepared to accept any challenges a child may have due to substance use.
There will be no judgment based on any substance usage; a woman who chooses to place her baby for adoption is making a selfless and brave decision, no matter her circumstances.
If you’re considering adoption for your baby, just call or text Lifetime Adoption at 1-800-923-6784. We’ll let you know what’s needed to get started. The adoption process is more straightforward than you may think and totally confidential.

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on July 5, 2016, and has since been updated. 

Heather Featherston

Written by Heather Featherston

As Vice President of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.

Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.

As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.

Read more about Heather Featherston


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