Yes, we do require drug testing for our birth mothers. We have a judgment-free environment and encourage our Birth Mothers to be honest and disclose their substance use, past and present. We require self-report, but we also require testing. Birth Mothers choosing not to disclose are welcome to work with other agencies that do not require disclosure. We believe it is in everyone’s best interest to be open and honest, and the one who benefits the most from this is the baby.
We believe Adoptive Parents have the right to know about substance use and the possible impact on the child. We explain to our Birth Mothers that it is important to be open and honest because their baby may need medical attention after birth for substance withdrawal. We also believe Adoptive Parents need to know to make an informed decision on whether to Match or continue the Match. Most importantly, Adoptive Parents need to know to ensure the baby is provided with the best medical care after birth.
Our Agency requires access to Birth Mothers’ medical records and testing results. Hospitals routinely do blood tests on babies to look for substances when they know there is an adoption plan. In addition, medical staff is trained to look for signs of substance withdrawal in the baby.
We do everything we possibly can to ensure full disclosure; sometimes, despite our best efforts, it is discovered that the baby is showing signs of withdrawal after birth. If we know this, we are committed to disclosing it to the Adoptive Parents. We respect and uphold the right of all our Adoptive Parents to back out of the Match if they discover substance use. We have found there are always Adoptive Parents who are willing to parent a child who has been exposed to substances, and therefore there is no reason for us to put pressure on Adoptive Parents to go through with a Match against their wishes. Adoptive Parents are never penalized for backing out of a Match because substance use is discovered. We are happy to place parents back on the waiting list and will happily facilitate a new Match.