In many hospitals across the country, a baby who is born to a mother who has been addicted to drugs is either taken into child protective custody or monitored until the mother is healthy enough to go home. In Louisiana, babies are sent home with addicted mothers like any other child that is born. Pediatricians like Dr. Michael Ulich want these standards to change. He is pushing for some kind of overhaul of the law that allows mothers to take their babies home even if they test positive for drugs.
Ulich is a pediatrician who has seen the impacts that drugs can do to babies who are born to mothers who have been addicted to drugs. Some of the babies have meth in their bodies while others have heroin or cocaine. He recently wrote a news article to the “The Times” about the issue taking place in Louisiana as a way to bring awareness to the fact that it’s a law that mothers are to be allowed to take their children home. When Ulich sees babies who are clearly also addicted to the drugs and he knows that the mothers are addicted, he makes a report to child protective services.
Most of the time, CPS won’t bother to open a case even after a doctor calls with evidence that the baby has drugs in the system. If the mother tests positive and the baby doesn’t, then the issue is usually overlooked. This is a frightening situation for doctors like Ulich who only want to help their patients. The only time that CPS will normally open a case is if there is evidence that the baby is in danger or if the mother has neglected or abused the child. CPS wants mothers to have a chance to raise their children even if they are addicted to drugs at the time of birth.