In order for an infant to test positive for drugs, the drugs detected have to cross the placenta and affect the fetus prebirth. Therefore, if an infant is to be screened, there must be a valid suspicion of maternal drug use based on a few indicators. Here are a few of the varied things obstetricians consider:
Once a mother is under suspicion for drug use or abuse, most often lab testing is required. A positive toxicology screen may not be the end of the story, but mothers of infants that test positive for drugs at birth are apt to receive a wide variety of accusations. Some of the potentially severe charges these mothers are exposed to could include:
When toxicologists find traces of opiates in a mother’s blood stream, not only could she face the emotional trauma of criminal investigations but also immediate temporary child removal which has the risk of becoming permanent.
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In certain cases, a mother’s own false positive drug tests can be linked to such things as having taken opiates prescribed to her under a doctors care and supervision, having eaten poppy seeds, or having used marijuana for medicinal purposes. Any indication of maternal substance abuse will bring on an assessment of the needs of the mother and child pursuant to Section 123605 of the Health and Safety Code. When additional indicators show a particular risk to the child, a report will be filed. The report is supposed to go to county welfare and not to local law enforcement; however, you should not assume this information will remain free of law enforcement scrutiny and possible criminal action. For this reason you should secure the advice of legal counsel. Retesting may help prove the test was a false positive if your newborn child has tested positive for drugs at birth. A positive toxicology screen of a newborn is not necessarily a sufficient basis for reporting child abuse or neglect.
Call (408) 277-0377 or contact us online to schedule an appointment with our firm and let us get started on your case today. Our team of skilled professionals is ready to provide the highest quality representation for you and your family. If you have been accused of child abuse or endangering a child, concluding maternal drug abuse, take advantage of the experienced counsel of the skilled and proven professionals at the Law Firm of Wesley Schroeder.