Can my baby be taken away for failing a drug test?

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by fourdegrees, Feb 15, 2005.

  1. fourdegrees

    fourdegrees New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I recently joined this message board in the hopes of shedding some light on a subject that I don't have much of a background in. If you are familiar with anything I'm talking about, please feel welcome to give me any information you can. Here's my story... It's a bit long but please bear with me.

    I am a 20ish self-proclaimed potsmoker and have been for years. I grew up in a very liberal household where both of my parents smoked and talked to me candidly about both the risks and benefits of marijuana. Recently, my fiance and I just found out that I was pregnant and since then I've gotten on medicaid and have begun to see a doctor and everything has been fine. About once a month I go for a pregnancy check-up with my doctor and to date have done so twice. Needless to say, everytime I go in I have to give them a urine sample so as to check my iron levels and see if everything is okay with the baby. My first visit was fine other than that the doctor told me I had a common urine infection and gave me some antibiotics to make it go away. During the next visit, he seemed a bit standoffish and seemed to want to hurry things along. As he was talking to me about my blood levels and other related things, he casually told me that he found a little "wacky" in my urine. I don't know why but at the moment I honestly thought he was trying to tell me that my infection hadn't quite cleared up yet and I laughed it off and told him that I hoped it would have been cleared up by now. He responded by giving me a stern look and telling me that it does sometimes take a while to get out of your system. It was then that I realized that he must be referring to the marijuana in my system. I wasn't aware at all that the doctors tested for drugs, but it could possibly be related to me having medicaid... Anyway, he didn't say anything else and I was freaked out by that whole ordeal. I am going back to see him this month (in about ten days) and I'm sure that the marijuana is still in my system (being that I'm a regular smoker and it's been less than a month since my last visit) and I'm worried what he is going to say. Is there some law where my unborn baby could be taken away from me because I smoked pot while I was pregnant? I realize that it isn't good to be smoking anything while pregnant but all moral judgement aside, is there ANY kind of case at all that anyone knows about where I could be prosecuted and if so, wouldn't the doctor have to warn me about it? As I said before, the only mention of it was last month and he was extremely vague about it. Anyway, I'm very desperate for any related information that anybody may have, as I can't seem to find any on the web. I do appreciate it and thanks for listening.
  2. Mishiro

    Mishiro New Member

    I don't know anything about medicaid, but I do know that you should STOP SMOKING, if not for yourself, then for the baby that you love and want to keep.
  3. CIPHER420

    CIPHER420 New Member

    Ok first I just want to say that I dont agree with anyone smoking anything while they are pregnant because your not being fair to your child, but then again I am no one to judge but I do observe and I do have an opinion, and im sure that you can wait 9 months to smoke again, I mean I know what its like not to be able to smoke for one reason or another, but think about your childs health which is more delicate than an adults. Now for the question about the doctor, in some states it is state law to drug test babies at birth,whether they are on medicade or not, I dont know about pregnant women though.Its for the well being of your baby, just like CPS can take your child for "abusing" any drug including alcohol, in other words endagering your child . In this case the child is unborn So if they see that you are smoking a controlled substance while you are pregnant then they can take your baby away, now personally I have never seen it for Marijuana, Ive seen it for crack cocaine, heroin. Pretty much what they do is, when your baby is born, hey do a mandatory drug test to the baby and if any drugs are present in the baby, then it could mean trouble. Now im no expert Im just speaking through logic and things Ive read and seen. My intention are not to offend you in any way about your smoking while your pregnant, I just expressed my view on that. Peace
  4. DiabloPotHead

    DiabloPotHead New Member

    Well it's bette that you smoke weed instead of drink. There have been no reported links between Marijuana use and child defects, however, it is possible that he can be born with brain damage or messed up lungs. This is because we don't know how weed affects a baby's brain or even if it does at all. But think of this, that baby is sharing your air, that means he takes in some smoke, which can cause his lungs to be messed up.


    So please, don't smoke weed while you are pregnant. Hash brownies, I am not sure of, but, like I said, we don't know how Marijuana affects a baby's brain development.
  5. Mishiro

    Mishiro New Member

    http://www.pregnancy-info.net/QA/answers-marijauna_while_pregnant/
    Name: amethyst | Date: December 4, 2004, 21:19
    Answer: Marijuana is the only thing that eased my nausea while I was pregnant. before I was PG I used it as medicine for headaches, but now that I am PG, I get regular drug testing @ my MD's because I admitted that. I have to get 3 clean tests and will be tested when I go into labor . If positive, I will not be allowed to breastfeed in the hospital and could be turned in to CPS. Ridiculous!!! They would rather I take Tylenol every 4 hours for the rest of my pregnancy than take a puff or 2 of pot every once in awhile.Seems ridiculous to me. I have known numerous women who have smoked pot while PG and we all have had happy, healthy ,MELLOW and normal birth wt. babies. There is no proof that occasional MJ smoking adversely affects a growing baby.In the state I live in it is an accepted medication for certain illnesses and conditions, including nausea and lack of appetite.Most pregnant women I know suffer from these things. I don't advocate starting if you don't already smoke, but if you are already a consumer of the fine green weed, a little goes along way. Follow your heart and what your body tells you!


    Potential Health Risks for child:
    Marijuana use in pregnancy damages kids' learning
    http://www.marchofdimes.com/pnhec/159_4427.asp

    A book on the subject:
    Pregnant Women on Drugs: Combating Stereotypes and Stigma

    http://www.babycenter.com/expert/pregnancy/isitsafe/2490.html
    Question: Is it safe to smoke marijuana during pregnancy?
    Answer: No. Smoking marijuana during pregnancy may affect your baby's growth and nervous system. Studies have shown that children who were exposed to marijuana during pregnancy sometimes have problems focusing their attention and difficulty in problem-solving. Children of heavy pot users may have disturbances in their short-term memory, concentration, and judgment. (There's no evidence so far, however, that marijuana use during pregnancy causes attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

    What's more, there's no way to know if the pot you're smoking has been laced with other drugs (such as PCP) or contaminated with pesticides, which puts your baby at even higher risk. And using marijuana increases the risk that your baby will have birth defects if you're also drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes.

    If you smoked pot before you realized you were pregnant, don't panic. The chance that your baby has been affected is very small. Still, it's important to be honest with your practitioner about your previous use of pot and other recreational drugs. She may want to run some extra tests to be sure your baby is developing normally.
  6. Buzzby

    Buzzby Buddhist Curmudgeon

    If it's been a month since you smoked you should be fine. If you didn't quit smoking a month ago when this "ordeal" "freaked you out", what were you thinking?

    The case could be referred to social services and if they find that you have acted negligently and endangered your child they could put your child in foster care until you prove to their satisfaction that you are a responsible parent.
  7. Dazed.Confused

    Dazed.Confused New Member

    I bet that they will argue child neglect, because it is common sence not to smoke/do anything illegal while pregnant, honestly, if i was a social services agent, i'd seriously find it hard to not take your baby away, what you are doiung is ****ing dumb, and if you think that it is a good idea, just make sure you are able to cope/handle what bad things happen in the end.
  8. shgrdii

    shgrdii New Member

    Smoking marijuana while you are pregnant is not a good idea. It can seriously harm the fetus. You are endangering your child. I don't care what anybody says. I read something that said smoking marijuana while pregnant can make the fetus smaller. So stop smoking for your the sake of a healthy child.
  9. Mishiro

    Mishiro New Member

    Now, now. Let's be nice. We want to help her, not make her hate us.
  10. Zilos

    Zilos Seasoned Activist

    shgrdii: So you automatically believe everything you hear or read?

    fourdegrees: There's some info here you can read on the Myths of Cannabis and Pregnancy which should help ease your mind.

    -Peace
  11. Mishiro

    Mishiro New Member

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  12. Mamabudz

    Mamabudz Guest

    HEALTH CONCERNS FOR THE BABY:

    THe only major concern of fetal health for mothers who smoke marijuana during pregnancy is proper implanting of the placenta; meaning, has the placenta attached to the uterus on the wall of the uterus or further down by the cervix.

    Attachemnt nearer the cervix can cause breakthrough bleeding which usually requires bed rest for the mother and the mother is advised to practice kegel exercises to increase the strength of the pelvic floor.

    PRACTICAL SOCIAL CONCERNS FOR THE MOTHER AND BABY

    In our current conservative atmosphere, it is believed that a person who smokes pot also does harder drugs that are indeed dangerous to fetal development. We know that is not the case but try to explain that to the Powers That Be.

    MANY pregnant mothers actually use marijuana to fight morning sickness. It has been used for that purpose for thousands of years and the human race still is here.

    I always suggest our pregnant mommies to read the work done in jamaica with the rasta community back in '94 -- Prenatal Marijuana Exposure and Neonatal Outcomes in Jamaica: for REAL information on the effects of cannabis use and live birth.

    SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER

    You may choose to eat or drink marijuana so that you do not induce coughing --

    I would strongly suggest you change your OB now -- find a nurse midwife with whom you feel comfortable and not some male docotr who has never experienced a menstrual cramp in his life --- this is Women's Work, and except for a swift kick in the balls, men haven't a clue what the experience is like.

    Anxiety is more harmful to your baby than just about anything else out there -- do whatever you can to keep your anxiety level low, stay away from obnoxious people who make you anxious (ie this so called Doctor)...keep away from over the counter medications and caffeine... eat lots of fruits and vegetables and meats high in iron...take your vitamins and get plenty of rest

    ...And MOST IMPORTANT enjoy this amazing experience of having a baby...

    God Bless you and your new family...

    ...oh, and have a cookie ;)

    Hugz,

    Mama Budz
  13. Mishiro

    Mishiro New Member

    Okay, fine, smoke it up. I'm convinced. Women sure do have some really hard decisions to make.

    but can they take her baby away?
  14. Mamabudz

    Mamabudz Guest

    Depends on the Social Services in her state/community ...their interest in her particular case (if there is a history of probles with other children, etc.).

    Her best bet is to quickly find another doctor -- even in the Medicaid system there are those who are more lenient when it comes to the use of MJ -- they are more concerned about children of crack addicts and meth addicts where serious and long lasting danger to the child DOES occur.

    Another suggestion would be to have her come to her appointments with her mother or mother-in-law or some other older female and/or her male partner -- it usually helps to "outnumber" the doctor in question as there is one thing doctors fear more than anything else in the world MALPRACTICE.
  15. Zilos

    Zilos Seasoned Activist

    I fixed the link, it was missing an underscore, which is odd since I copy and pasted the url. Here it is again, Myth CLAIM #7.
  16. shgrdii

    shgrdii New Member

    Listen, whoever thinks inhaling smoke of any kind into your lungs, including marijuana, won't harm a fetus, needs to wake up. The fact is, if you are pregnant, you should be able to give up marijuana for 9 months. Its not addictive. GIve it up for the sake of your child. Any pregnant woman who gets high is obviously not responsible enough to have a child. I don't care what these stupid myths say. Inhaling smoke into your lungs is not good for your child. Does she really need to be smoking??? And whoever is trying to tell her it is ok to smoke while she is pregnant has serious issues.
  17. Burninbrooke

    Burninbrooke Sr. Member

    As a mother of two with first hand experince I don't think it is wise or healthy to SMOKE marijuana while you are pregnant. I do like Mama's advice of switching doctors, seriously I was on medicaid when I got preggo with my first one and there was no mandatory drug testing or drug testing of any kind for that matter. I don't know where you live though and if the system works differently by state. However they can not force you to see that doctor, so get a new one and see if you have a better experience.
  18. sabianq

    sabianq New Member

    Hey, I dont think you should smoke ANYTHING while you are pregnant, At the same time you should not use SSRI's, OTC meds, or eat or drink anything with aspartame (Nutrasweet or any diet food). Stay away from copious amounts of sugar like soda pop and stay away from partialy hydrogenated oils.
    Eat lots of olive oil, green tea, nuts and berrys. very colorful natural food is always a good bet.
    if you were a daily smoker of pot, then your body is pretty good at metabolising the cannabinoids and it would get out of your system pretty fast. The human body creates natural cannabinoids for many different reasons. so a little indiscression at the beginning of your pregency wont have an inpact on the fetus. just prove to people that pot is not addictive and stop using it for the rest of your pregancy. if you use nicotine stop using that too. plus you will probably find that when you quit using the previously mentioned substances you will not be inclined to use them after words.
    good luck
  19. killavanilla

    killavanilla New Member

    okay. It's nice that everyone wants to tell you what to do and all, so I'll say this so I don't seem to be ignoring it.
    If you choose to smoke pot during your pregnancy, there is a chance of some negative effect on a baby. There is no guarantee that there will be, but also no solid, top-notch study that can definitively rule it out. I would err on the side of caution, which should be my screen name.
    HOWEVER-
    It is your choice. Your question seems to be :
    1) Can my doctor take away my baby?
    Yes and no. In order to do that, the doc would need to be willing to testify that he believes you are endangering your babies life. I don't think the state you live in needs more motherless babies and mouths to feed because you tested positive for THC 2 months into a pregnancy. It can take 90 days to test clean, so it's probably too easy to get around in court with a competent attorney.
    2) What should I do?
    Consider reading the posts about dilution. That would almost guarantee passing a drug test but would also most likely skew whatever test you are taking. Think about quitting smoking for a while and consider it again after your exam. If you can last ten days without smoking, your body will have time to rid itself of the THC metabolites to some degree. This might allow you to pass the test (with just a few cups of water prior) and also allows you to take some sober time to think about how YOU feel about the possibility of a problem if you continue to smoke.
    Regardless of your choice, I want you to be sure to know that we're all hoping that everything works out terrifically for you.
    Best of luck to you, your fiancee and your soon to be baby! :)
  20. Bodhi36

    Bodhi36 New Member

    I like what Mamabudz said. Change docs and be assertive- don't let these doctors bully or intimidate you. It's not right to test your urine for drugs and not tell you they did it for one thing- and just because you are on medicare they can do that? That just sounds wrong wrong wrong cause I bet if you were privately insured and driving a fancy car and not poor they wouldn't be pulling that crap. You should NOT be feeling anxious or nervous or uncomfotable seeing your doctor and you will need to have a supportive and honest relationshiip with the healthcare team for this wonderful experience. it makes me mad- and you know if they tested your urine and saw thc the doctor should have been just straight up about it instead of hints and stern looks and vague language. Get a new doc and congragulations on your pregnancy. If you have to get urine tests from now on make sure they are clean and I can't imagine they would take your baby away for one dirty test.

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