Hey. Sorry I missed last month and if I’m intruding on anyone today, I apologize. Having a baby with colic is not a lot of fun. That, with school winding down and teen attitudes going up, I missed it. So, here I try again.
When a baby has colic it usually lasts around four months, ours is 5 months. For those that do not know what colic is, it is gas that causes severe abdominal cramps. Now, where some enjoy a good bout of gas, little ones are not so appreciative.
Anyway, our local newspaper published a article this week that said, “Parents abusing drugs led to more than half of (our county’s) foster care cases.” The article went further to say that state-wide of the 16,500 children in foster-care in 2017 that 39% were placed due to opioid use by parents or family members.
Of all the babies that we have had in care a large majority were born addicted to multiple illegal drugs, prescription drugs and/or alcohol. I don’t know if you have ever seen an adult go through withdrawal, but it is tough. Imagine going through that being only days old. Many start seizing within hours of being born and continue to detox for three to four months. It is truly pitiful, with what these little ones are put through.
More often than not, these parents will have several children in foster care, all born with drugs in their systems. In North Carolina, it is not against the law for a mother to give birth positive to drugs or her baby to be positive to drugs. If the mother would give the child drugs after they gave birth, she would go to jail. This does not make sense to me.
The law-makers here need to open their eyes. If you just look at the monetary costs alone, the state pays over $1500 per month per child in foster-care. This does not take into account the social programs that also spend their budgets for the same. Do the math: $1500 x 12 months (average time in foster-care) x 16,500 children. That is around $300 million per year just for foster care in North Carolina alone. The birth parents pay nothing.
Parents that abuse drugs and in-turn have babies born addicted should go to prison, even on the first offense. Allowing this is wrong and the law-makers know it. They just refuse to do anything about it. Should they never sleep well until the children become more important than their other pet projects.
Well, that is my soapbox. Children are more important than the parents rights to abuse drugs.
***John E. Stack is the author of Cody’s Almost Trip to the Zoo, Olivia’s Sweet Adventure, and Cody’s Rescue Adventure at the Zoo.