We are in the process of adoption and were just "offered" a one month old baby who was born cocaine positive. Can you tell me if these babies have a chance of having a normal healthy life? Also, can you refer me to anyplace I can get additional information? Thank you!
For a long time, it was thought (or maybe assumed) that the impact of a mother's use of cocaine during gestation would have long-term negative consequences. More recent research, quite reliable, has found that these consequences do not occur and that, all else being equal, infants born with the influence of cocaine do as well as their non-addicted peers. What may be more important than the cocaine addiction per se are other factors which can have an impact on the developing fetus, such as mother's nutritional state, prenatal care, etc. So, it will be important to inquire of the adoption agency about these factors. Cocaine use by the mother is often associated with other factors (e.g., smoking, poor health, inadequate medical care) that would be responsible for problems at birth and/or after. If you investigate the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (e.g., Vol. 151: 1237-1241, 1977), Journal of Pediatrics (e.g., Vol. 113: 831-834), Pediatric Research (e.g., Vol. 20: 425, Vol. 23: 454; and Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vol. 74: 882-885), you'll find reports of research dealing with this topic. The major point is that cocaine addiction at birth is not a risk factor, but other prenatal influences related to the mother's health, behavior, and prenatal care may be of concern.
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