I am doing this AMA in hopes of answering any questions people might have about taking in a child born with dependency issues.

Backstory: My husband and I suffered through multiple miscarriages and then found out I have a relatively uncommon genetic disorder that gives us a 50/50 chance of a healthy pregnancy. We always wanted to adopt so we decided to go that route and see how it played out.

Within a few weeks we brought home a newborn that was 3 weeks old. He was born dependent on heroin and also had meth and cocaine in his system. He was in the NICU until his withdrawal symptoms were gone and he was able to eat on his own.

We weren’t sure what we were getting ourselves into, but so far it’s going well and he is almost 3 years old! I wish I had some people that had experience with this in the beginning. I’m hoping I can help someone else out or just answer any questions people might be curious about.


Edit 1: Thank you all for your thoughtful questions! I’m getting way more responses than I expected. I’m headed to bed and will answer any more that pop up in the morning.

Edit 2: fixed proof

Edit 3: Wow thanks again for all the questions and responses. I hope someone out there has gained something from this conversation or is more willing to adopt through the foster care system!

Comments: 212 • Responses: 59  • Date: 

pinamungajan210 karma

Do you know if people born with dependency issues have a higher/lower risk of developing them again, later in life?

slicc_nicc286 karma

That has been one of our big worries for him and his future. He sees several providers (OT, PT, speech) for early behavior interventions and I’ve asked them all that same question. They all say based on their experience yes, but a major factor is the environment they are raised in.

holiday650477 karma

Hi fellow former crack and heroin addicted baby here. As someone who's in her 30s, pursing her doctorates and lived a happy, healthy and well adjusted life...keep doing what you're doing and thank you for doing the noble and hard work of loving that child!

slicc_nicc249 karma

Oh this makes me so happy to hear! I was hoping someone like you would comment! Do you have any advice for me? Anything that came up for you as a struggle?

boing_boing_splat24 karma

I'm super interested in this too. Has there ever been a temptation to "be involved" with drugs subsequently? Sounds like probably not with the doctorate and all!

holiday65017 karma

I had no desire what so ever do drugs. I was terrified it would trigger some unknown biological thing and I'd be down the rabbit hole of drugs quicker than the average person. Research I've done says that not actually what happens but tell that to a 12 year old kid. Lol. I also just internally knew a lot of people were fighting for me to succeed and I didn't want to let them down.

When I got to college and drugs became the norm for my friends it was just known and respected if they came out, I would leave. I didn't even touch weed until it was recreationally legal in CA. It just wasn't worth it for me.

I'm pretty up front about the circumstances of my birth. So if I'm ever slightly peer pressured to do something, I joke that I've already tried them, got clean and been sober for 32 years.

Edit: grammar

slicc_nicc3 karma

Thank you for sharing!! It sounds like you had an amazing environment and support system. I can only hope my son has your strength and awareness!

holiday6504 karma

So much advice! Obviously I can't use myself as the only outcome. However, I have several friends, colleagues and students (been working in the child welfare field for 11 years) who also turned out just fine when they were (as you said already) in the right environment.

My biggest advice would be to continue to nurture him in educational settings. Back in the day it was assumed all narcotic addicted kids should he placed in special education because of the unknown developmental delays. My foster mom faught tooth and nail to keep me out of special education and keep me in a regular classroom. Clearly that worked because I'm getting my doctorates from USC.

Regarding the biological "family" (I personally call them spem and egg donors). My foster mom was always open and honest and never harbored any resentment, anger or kept anything from me and always instilled unconditional love, that nothing was my fault and ensured I had access to therapy when I was a bit older to work anything out.

I'm unsure if your kiddo looks like you and your husband or your family but if he doesn't there may be some identity issues later in life. Especially when he starts going to school. Kids are cruel and as much as we as a society want to believe we're color blind, we're not. Let's just say I had to work that out in therapy later in life. Haha.

I'm happy to have an offline conversation as well, shoot me a dm and we can exchange info! For context I'm not some rando, I've been working in the child welfare field for 11 years and now in child welfare policy in California.

slicc_nicc2 karma

Thank you! He looks like he could be mine but my husband is half Filipino so it’s pretty obvious he’s not his biological son. So I’m sure the questions might come sooner than later on that.

Registered-Nurse2 karma

You should do an AMA!

holiday6502 karma

Ya know, you're not the first one who said that. Maybe it's time I do!

slicc_nicc2 karma

Yes you should! You’d probably be helping a lot of parents like myself!

CardiacSchmardiac166 karma

Pediatrician here - you’ve done a great and selfless thing for this child. Glad to hear it is going so well!

I’ve seen this in the newborn nursery before (used to work in a place with a high rate of infants with drug exposure), and it seems that really brave and prepared families tend to be the ones to adopt these kiddos.

However, I imagine it can’t be without some reservations, so I’ve always wondered what worries you most? Or do you feel like you are past the stage of worrying about unknowns, and now are just being a parent?

Thank you for taking my question

slicc_nicc106 karma

Well now that we are officially his legal parents that has reduced a lot of worry and stress, but that’s a whole other story.

Now that all of that is off our plates, I mostly find myself worrying about how he will be in school and if he will be easily addicted if he ever experiments later in life.

He is definitely showing some signs of sensory and regulation issues, but we are intervening as early and as intense as possible and he’s making great progress. He definitely still is very active and I really worry how a traditional school setting will work for him.

Other than this we are mostly down to “normal” parental worries!

pgirl3041 karma

Can you describe what you mean by sensory and regulation issues?

slicc_nicc66 karma

This can be a very wide range of things. Because of his drug exposure his neurological system is wired differently than a non exposed baby. For sensory he gets overstimulated and distracted very easily. He can be clumsy and sometimes has a hard time transitioning to new or less desirable activities. In terms of regulation he can be a little impulsive and can get easily frustrated. That’s more the emotional/behavioral component. So far he hasn’t shown any “extremes” but we are being cautious and trying to help him sort of rewire his system through OT and PT and stuff we do at home.

DabbinDubs31 karma

These are all things that I would use to describe any normal child at certain ages/times in their lives.

slicc_nicc57 karma

Yes that’s true and we aren’t 100% sure it’s not partly his age/personality. The professionals that have observed and assessed him have seen some things that aren’t “typical” of his age but like I said luckily nothing extreme yet. We really are just trying to be as preventative as possible. We will know more of the actual impacts of the exposure when he is ready start school.

NoLessThanTheStars1 karma

You've described 80% of the children I used to work with at a combined OT PT ST ABA clinic for children with autism. OT and ABA seemed to help the most for those behaviors.

slicc_nicc1 karma

OT is amazing! I never really knew exactly what they did until my son started receiving services. He loves it, it’s like a big play place for him so he is always happy to go.

fakedelight1 karma

That sounds exactly like us. 3yo son adopted with FASD - very active, struggles with emotional regulation and sensory processing. We are considering alternative schooling to optimise his experience.

slicc_nicc2 karma

Thank you for sharing! We have also talked about the possibility of alternative schooling. Our guy is so active and we just want to make sure he’s in an environment that will give him flexibility and understanding.

Your son will likely qualify for an IEP in school and will qualify for services if he needs them. That’s where you will be able to advocate for his needs and make sure the school/teacher is providing him the accommodations necessary.

AwokenGenius76 karma

Come the time, will you and your husband decide to educate them about drugs?

slicc_nicc142 karma

Yes. We plan to be as up front and honest with him as he is developmentally ready. We feel it is important for him to know his history and potential risks for addiction.

We’ve been told that kids that know they are adopted will ask questions when they are ready and I’m expecting this topic to come up at some point.

AwokenGenius50 karma

Good, I'm glad to hear it. School doesn't do a very good job in my opinion, the little 'drug education' booklet they gave me only made me interested in them more.

They seemed exciting and because they're a taboo I was drawn to them even more, though I can only blame myself for using them.

slicc_nicc27 karma

Yes I agree. They usually just sugar coat it. Straight forward honesty is going to be our strategy.

sirgog20 karma

The absolute best drug education I ever had was a university newspaper article that straight out put the pros and cons of various drugs.

It meant you could make an informed decision. And a decision you can understand why you came to is one you can stick by.

For me, this was "Heroin isn't worth it. Dope and tobacco I can't handle b/c of the smoke. Ecstacy maybe but only in extreme moderation. Alcohol is fine, caffeine is fine. Anything really mind affecting (LSD, acid etc) is a hard no. And fuck the price of speed/cocaine"

Other drugs (meth, opiods) weren't really in the popular consciousness at the time.

Understanding that ecstacy borrows the chemicals that cause happiness from the future, but you have to repay them with interest; or that heroin induces bliss and pain relief but then causes mild to moderate lasting pain that takes ages to go away until you use more - these WORKED for keeping me away from drugs almost completely.

slicc_nicc1 karma

I think being straight forward is the way to go. Like they should be showing pictures of what meth will do to you or present real facts. Not just drugs are bad mmkay.

sirgog1 karma

We always got that at school. Because we never got this "this is the positive side", I don't think people really believed a lot of it.

"If heroin is as bad as you say why would anyone even consider using it?"

"Because they are addicted, their peers pressured them into using it once"

That's just not all that believable.

slicc_nicc1 karma

Yeah that’s a good point I’ve never thought of it that way.

supbrina18 karma

u/slicc_nicc Have you and your s/o sought out to learn about addiction, not just how to educate a child not to do them. I guess I’m wondering if you feel knowledgeable on the subject itself not just the prevention of it.

(I have worked with adolescents at a drug rehab and my niece, who was adopted by my aunt, was born addicted.)

slicc_nicc16 karma

We haven’t yet but it’s definitely on our radar. We don’t know how deeply it is engrained into his being and want to support him however we can. We plan to just take it all day by day I guess.

teenagesadist48 karma

Does the adoption system work much more quickly when the orphans are drug dependent?

I know this might be a stupid question, however, all I've ever heard is that adoption is a long and arduous process, I can see why they'd want to off load the "difficult" cases, it just seems really, really callous of the system.

slicc_nicc68 karma

Not a stupid question at all.

No it doesn’t. It’s more about the legal process child services must follow regarding parental and family rights. It took us almost 2.5 years for our son to be “legally free” and to finalize our adoption. If the child is Native American and/or a part of any tribe, you can expect the process to be much more lengthy and difficult.

The amount of time that the biological parents/family have to regain full custody varies by state. Here it was supposed to be 15 months but mistakes were made by our case workers and some biological family members made things much more difficult and dragged out the process by almost a year. In the end they must prove that they did their due diligence and gave family every opportunity to gain custody of the child.

If you go into the adoption with an already legally free child, the process will be relatively fast.

Edit: grammar :D

Peekachooed9 karma

Normally I wouldn't be so pedantic, but this amused me too much:

"dragged", not "drug" :P

slicc_nicc6 karma

Thanks! :D

ASzinhaz11 karma

“Drug” is a totally valid regional/dialectal variant! (Source: Am linguistics student. The field of linguistics is based on describing how people do use language [descriptivism] rather than enforcing arbitrary rules [prescriptivism]!)

Since I should probably add a question, are you in touch with any other families who have adopted drug-addicted children?

slicc_nicc9 karma

Yes my friend who helped this happen adopted two children one born addicted. Drug of choice was meth for their bio mother though. It’s nice to have someone for support and understanding.

Troll_St_Troll4 karma

There is a reason those laws exist, mostly to keep white parents from stealing native children through the legal system that they control.

slicc_nicc13 karma

Yes you are right that is definitely why they were created and done with good intent. It just makes the process take longer and much more legal hoops to get through if someone were to adopt a Native American child.

boopbaboop31 karma

Does his condition limit his healthcare options at all? Like, if he has surgery, can he be put on painkillers?

slicc_nicc36 karma

That’s a great question. I’m not 100% sure.

He has had to have some ear tubes put in and adenoids removed but luckily didn’t need pain medication. This is definitely something we will be extremely careful with and only do if absolutely necessary.

Kirstianity31 karma

We are fostering two little kids right now, both of whom tested positive for Meth and heroin after being removed from their previous home. The little one is doing great, we've had them about a year, he's almost 2, and is getting words down and dancing and all sorts of fun stuff. His brother is 3, and despite a year of PT, OT, and ST, still can only say about five words. The therapist says he might still learn, but I don't know. Should we start with sign language early? Should I be learning it to teach him? We've got a system for now, he's very smart, but when his baby brother can communicate better than he can, I'm concerned about how he is going to take that. Advice??

slicc_nicc23 karma

Does he have strong receptive language? Which would be listening to and processing language. I’m also a teacher so we meet on kids all the time with language issues the ones who struggle most did not have strong receptive language in the first years of life.

If he does I’d keep doing what your doing and practice his listening/following directions skills. Speaking should catch up. Sign language definitely wouldn’t hurt. Giving him any sort of outlet to communicate will help alleviate any frustrations he might have.

It also could be related to trauma. Which seems to work its way out with strong home support and building trust.

Good luck hopefully that was helpful!

Kirstianity2 karma

He's very smart, just not able to tell anyone anything, which I think makes him upset a lot. I'm hoping he picks up writing better than he picks up speaking, at least then he'd have some way to talk.

slicc_nicc2 karma

Yes him having an outlet to communicate will be super helpful for him. Imagine knowing everything going on around you but not being able to express yourself or make your needs/wants known.

It’s so nice to hear of other foster parents working as hard as you do to get the kids what they need. And taking in two kiddos!? You are amazing!

8xin1nite31 karma

why did you choose to adopt this high risk child?what made you choose the challenge?

slicc_nicc76 karma

I’m not 100% sure to be honest. Things happened so fast. It started out as this maybe thing and felt like a far away situation. Then Child Services called us for a meeting on him to make a decision and 30 minutes later told us we can pick him up. By that point we were knee deep. When I saw and held him I couldn’t turn back. He was so tiny and precious and we decided to just go for it and hope for the best.

Crowbarmagic21 karma

You are a wonderful person.

slicc_nicc11 karma

Thank you!

theystolemyid9 karma

Seriously this world really really need more people like you.

slicc_nicc9 karma

Thanks! I appreciate all the love it’s been a tough road!

8xin1nite2 karma

The child choose you then!!! All the best I am sure it will turn out very well。 G luck and god bless you。

slicc_nicc1 karma

Thank you!

Orientalism21 karma

Have you told your direct family (ie his grandparents) about his backstory? How did they react? Were they sad for you? Did they understand why you decided to adopt this kid knowing the extra challenges.

I know many parents want what is best for their children, and might be awkward when they know that the baby has serious health issues. With natural birth it is reasoned that you "gotta play the hand you're dealt", but as adopting parents you had a bit more choice.

slicc_nicc46 karma

Both my family and my Husband’s have been incredibly supportive. They know the entire story. We are lucky in that aspect for sure. He is loved and treated as our biological children would be.

PassTheCurry20 karma

what is this genetic disorder OP?

slicc_nicc67 karma

I have a balanced translocation on chromosome 9 and 13. Basically when I was being created and my chromosomes were matching up 9 and 13 broke and the pieces swapped places resulting in 9 having the piece of 13 and 13 having a piece of 9. Because it was balanced I survived.

Hopefully that makes sense!

SuperbFlight23 karma

That's so neat! You're one of the people we learn about in biology class =)

I'm curious, are there any other issues created by this?

slicc_nicc28 karma

Not when it is balanced. Most people that have it go through life never knowing. The only reason they usually find out is through pregnancy loss like my situation. Although I think there are some variations of the balanced disorders.

If it is unbalanced the complications can vary tremendously depending on the chromosome and the size of the break.

Kyomei-ju17 karma

Unrelated to the major topic of the post so I totally understand if you decide not to answer! But is that 50/50 healthy pregnancy the only symptom you have of your disorder?

Also, do you plan to perhaps ever try for another biological child one day? I'm sorry if that's too personal. I'm just curious as the same thing happened to my mom (I was their last try after a few miscarriages, although I'm unsure of the reason) and due to my own genetic disorder, having children myself may also be an issue.

Thank you for being such an amazing person and being so strong through all of your struggles. You seem to be a wonderful mother and I have nothing but the utmost respect for you and your partner.

slicc_nicc21 karma

Thank you for your kind words!

Yep because it is a balanced translocation there are no other complications or side effects. Just nature’s way of trying to fix itself and sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t.

Not too personal at all. We aren’t totally sure. The losses we’ve experienced were pretty rough and the idea of going through that again is difficult. We do have the IVF option with genetic testing but we aren’t sure we want to commit to the financial portion of that.

Now that we are moving forward with our son we can finally heal and really consider where we want to go from here when it comes to having another child.

cornfrontation8 karma

I was actually going to ask if you have a balanced translocation. I used to read a blog by a woman dealing with multiple miscarriages because her husband has a balanced translocation.

slicc_nicc10 karma

Yeah it’s a common thing but also sort of uncommon because many people get lucky with their pregnancy odds and never realize they even have it.

shermanators_wife2 karma

I also have a BT. They suck. Odds never worked out in my favor.

slicc_nicc1 karma

Yeah same here. I feel ya! It definitely has thrusted my life in a totally different direction.

mugwampjism14 karma

Hi OP,

Thank you for contributing to society in such a special and useful way. Its something I always wanted to do (hasn't really worked out like that for me tho). I believe you've helped so many people by doing this, and you'll never know the full extent of your good deeds!

I curse my own kids regularly... I imagine that were I in your situation I would be questioning (occasionally) whether I might be more committed or more invested if the adopted child were a genetic child.. In practice, I think it would be the same either way, you just do your best as often as possible.. I just mean, in the wee small hours when my fears might get the better of me, that's something I might worry about. Anyway.. I wish you all the best of luck!

My question is, had you had any real experience with Heroin or addiction in general? (Fingers crossed you won't have to, ftw!) If not.. Did someone give you a crash course during the adoption process? Or is that all in the 'To do' pile?

slicc_nicc15 karma

Thank you! I have actually had a few friends say that same sort of thing about being unsure of how they would feel about a child that was not genetically theirs. I think it totally depends on the person. For my husband and I this has never even been a topic or worry. He is ours good and bad days.

No I haven’t had any experiences with heroin or addiction. In the foster parent training they lightly covered it, but I definitely am always reading up about the topic and how it might be impacting my son or what I can watch out for in the future.

Quirky_Aardvark12 karma

What kinds of questions do friends, family, and associates ask that you find intrusive or impolite? How do you handle people being nosey?

How was the legal side of adopting a child through the system for you guys? Did biodad give up custody without problems?

slicc_nicc34 karma

I cringe a little bit when people refer to his biological family as his “real” family. I have to remember that they mean well. Other than that I don’t mind talking about it. I actually prefer them to ask instead of speculate.

I do get upset about the miscarriage side of this. A lot of people are super insensitive and complain about being pregnant or their kids and that really upsets me. Right after I lost the third I had someone say, “When are you going to have some babies?!” Or they brushed me off like it shouldn’t be a big deal or loss.

The legal side was tough. A lot of waiting and patience. We were constantly bugging caseworkers and lawyers to get the process moving. Bio dad’s side of the family caused the most problems. He refused to sign anything even though he was facing a minimum of 5 years and tried getting his parents to take him. They were definitely not fit or able to provide him a halfway decent home.

All of bio mom’s side has always been awesome and super supportive.

ckd928 karma

I do get upset about the miscarriage side of this. A lot of people are super insensitive and complain about being pregnant or their kids and that really upsets me. Right after I lost the third I had someone say, “When are you going to have some babies?!” Or they brushed me off like it shouldn’t be a big deal or loss.

I am very sorry for the unfortunate circumstances in your life, but even more than that, I'm deeply inspired by what you have done in spite of them. Most people are so caught up in their own lives they lack the ability to see anything other than from their own perspectives (which are often skewed!). Good luck for the future :)

Edit: Grammar

slicc_nicc1 karma

Thank you! It definitely was a long road for me to get to the place I’m at mentally and emotionally, but I clung to the idea that I can’t let it ruin my life and I will find a way to move forward.

Quirky_Aardvark2 karma

Were you ever afraid that the courts would place your child in the custody of biodad's family?

Re: your miscarriage comments....I don't understand why you would take people complaining about their kids personally? Pregnancy and raising kids can be very hard. It doesn't mean we don't love our kids or are ungrateful for them. I have cried more tears over my son than I thought possible. He is the hardest thing I have ever done. I would go insane if I didn't have friends I could vent to. I can't be a good mom without support.

slicc_nicc26 karma

Yes paternal grandmother almost got placement but someone anonymous called in a report about her stealing pills from her work or something like that so she was immediately denied. We went to court twice for paternal grandpa and the thankfully the judge denied him both times.

I agree parenting is very hard and I’m not as sensitive to them now because I have a better understanding. I do have a few coworkers though that complain like crazy and are never positive about their kids. I feel like that’s much different than venting about the struggles of parenting. Thank you for your perspective!

glittercatlady9 karma

I’ve had 6 miscarriages and most people I know are aware of at least 2 of them. It’s just a little stab in the gut when people can complain about something that you may never get to experience. I know it’s not personal but I would love to have a baby in my belly kicking my bladder or keeping me up all night. I would do anything for that experience but people just take it for granted.

slicc_nicc2 karma

I know exactly how you feel. I still get the stabbing/sinking feeling when I see someone pregnant or something like that. I’m trying to learn to cope and move forward. Adopting my son has taken me on a whole new journey though and I wouldn’t change anything.

Quirky_Aardvark-1 karma

So we're required to enjoy something just because you can't have it? Seems pretty selfish and self-centered to me. People are allowed to be sore from being kicked in the ribs. It doesn't mean we aren't grateful to have children. Jesus.

slicc_nicc2 karma

I will definitely admit that some of my upsets are a little self centered because of my experiences. However, It’s not that I feel people are required to enjoy something because I can’t have it, just more that I’ve come across some people who don’t seem to see how lucky they are or how special their children are. I don’t think everyone who complains or vents about their kids are ungrateful. Parents need to vent, it is a difficult job but there’s definitely a line I believe that can be crossed here.

glittercatlady1 karma

It’s inconsiderate to complain about it to someone who can’t have children. I’m not saying it’s deliberate, but I can’t help how much it hurts.

Quirky_Aardvark1 karma

I would obviously hope to have more tact. I hope those complaining to you are unaware of your problems :(

slicc_nicc1 karma

Some are aware. However I’ve learned to be less sensitive and that most people mean well. I’ve definitely put my foot in my mouth many many times.

pinkrose1811 karma

Why did you decide to do this vs take home a healthy baby? Just curious.

slicc_nicc35 karma

We decided to go the foster care route and we were connected to him through a friend of mine and the family that adopted his biological sister. Unfortunately through foster care if you receive a newborn it’s typically because of drug or alcohol exposure.

We didn’t go private adoption because it’s crazy expensive and at that cost could have done the IVF route.

pinkrose1818 karma

I’m not sure where in the world you are but what about medical costs?

Also, did the woman who gave birth to your child get clean/sober? I can’t imagine how you feel but as a stranger it makes me so angry that someone would do this to a child.

slicc_nicc74 karma

I’m in Alaska. Here all kids in foster care get Denali Kid Care, which is Medicaid. They get to keep it even when they are adopted. This covers 100% of his medical needs. They also pay a monthly stipend and an extra $700 max for full time daycare.

This is not why we went into this but I can’t lie it’s nice to know that any future medical needs he might have will be covered.

As for his biological mother, yes she is clean as far as I know. She is currently in prison. Her and bio dad were distributing and doing a bunch of other stuff. She became a different person once she got clean and immediately signed an adoption consent. She has come through for us several times to help make sure he stayed with us.

What she did was awful and I get upset about it sometimes, but I know she loves him and she did something very difficult. She put him first to make sure he has a good future. For that we will do our best to keep her in his life and make sure he knows who she is and what she did for him.

pinkrose1822 karma

Thank you for committing your life to this innocent baby. I wish you and your family all the best. I appreciate you answering my questions. 👼🏻

slicc_nicc11 karma

Thank you and your welcome!

Whiterabbit--14 karma

I just want to say that is awesome and I'm tearing up reading this. keep up the tough but good work.

slicc_nicc10 karma

Thank you!!

glittercatlady8 karma

As someone who is in a similar boat with miscarriage I just want to know.. after all the heartbreak and disappointment, how did you find the courage to go through with an adoption that wasn’t a sure thing? I would have been afraid that bio family would get him back and I think that might literally kill me.

slicc_nicc9 karma

To be honest it was very difficult and very stressful. The idea of losing him was the worst feeling I’ve ever had. We just stayed focused on loving him and giving him the best start in life we could. For us it ended up working out.

NoLessThanTheStars1 karma

Did you hear it was common to have to give the children back?

slicc_nicc2 karma

It definitely happens. If the parents/family regain custody there is nothing you can do. It’s definitely a hard spot though. I was torn a lot of the time because I want people to get better and kids to not have to be in the system but I also had a selfish side that didn’t want it to happen because I didn’t want to lose him.

Prixm7 karma

Is this a thing? My mother was under heavy amphetamine and heroin abuse when she was pregnant with me and my brother and everything else, also after and still 30 years later. I never heard that this was a thing? How does this make the child harder to raise or whatever? Me and my brother are two totally normal humans? So Im confused.

slicc_nicc12 karma

It all depends on timing and types of drugs I believe. Based on some research I’ve read heroin and opioids have less long term effects than amphetamines and alcohol.

This is also why I wanted to do this in hopes that more people thinking about fostering/adopting will be willing to take in kids with these issues.

keepitthere7 karma

How and when do you plan to tell the child that they’re adopted, as well as details of their dependency issues etc? Sorry if this is an obvious one, but I’ve always wondered how one goes through that process.

slicc_nicc4 karma

It’s been recommended to us to always make it his story and that he will ask questions as he is ready and understands. We plan to use that as our guide. We just don’t want him to find out one day when he’s 18 and be completely blind sighted.

spookist7 karma

Hey OP, thanks for this very insightful and interesting AMA, I feel that I've learned lots.

My question is around will your son get to see his bio mum/dad when they get out/ in the future. What are your thoughts on this? Have you got a plan as to how this would play out?

Thanks again for this AMA.

slicc_nicc12 karma

We are in regular contact with his biological mom. We are open to them seeing him when they get out. Our main expectations are that they are sober and consistent. If not then they will be allowed photos and phone calls.

AlicornGamer6 karma

what needs to be done so the child is not addicted anymore, like do you still give them small dosages and they get smaller each time, or what?

slicc_nicc8 karma

They are weaned off in the hospital.

jakukusonu5 karma

Does he have any issue with eyesight/crossed eye?

slicc_nicc14 karma

Nope luckily his eyesight is perfectly fine.

notTeamRocket5 karma

First I just wanna say thank you for adopting! I feel like too few people consider it as an actual option, even if they're having trouble conceiving.

I hope this isn't too insensitive a question, but are you worried about the bio family trying to contact your child in the future? I saw some previous answers about legal issues with the bio father's family. It seemed like they really didn't wanna let it go until they exhausted all their options.

Thank you for taking time to do this!

slicc_nicc3 karma

We want him to have contact with his bio family as long as they are sober, consistent, and respectful to us as his parents. Even the ones who made it difficult. We want to create the opportunity and it will be on them to follow through.

CapitalGaming4 karma

How the hell can a baby become heroin addicted?

slicc_nicc14 karma

His biological mother used heroin throughout her entire pregnancy resulting in him being born dependent on it.

HotandFoamy3 karma

Do you have any plans to add to your family in the future? If you had to adopt again, would you consider adopting a child from the same background as your son?

slicc_nicc6 karma

We aren’t quite sure yet. It is definitely an option. The legal process is more what would deter us it was very stressful and emotional. He was worth it all though.

original_greaser_bob3 karma

Have you read The Broken Cord?

slicc_nicc7 karma

No I haven’t but I just looked it up. Is it a good read?

19codeman932 karma

OP, I am an ex foster care case manager for my state's children's services. I still work for the department, but have since transferred to juvenile justice (basically intensive probation for delinquent youth). First off, I'd really like to tell you that I, as well as any social worker out there, truly appreciate your commitment to this child. I got to see a few of my kids adopted and it's such an amazing feeling.You all are wonderful people.

Now for my questions. You may have answered this, so I apologize, but do you plan on opening up your house to be foster parents for more children in the future?

Were you satisfied with how you and your husband were treated as foster parents? If not fully, is there something you believe could/should be done differently?

I know it's a long and strenuous process going through social services, but because of you one more child has their forever family. :)

slicc_nicc1 karma

Thank you!

Right now we have put our license on hold until our son is a little older. It’s an option but we aren’t sure at this point. We want to be able to focus all of our energy on him for now.

The first two caseworkers we had were honestly horrible. They never followed through or seemed to care about our concerns about bio family. We just got a blanketed response of “there is nothing we can do”. I don’t know if they were overworked or just not good at their job.

Our third caseworker was amazing. She was our saving grace. She treated us and bio family very respectfully and she was very organized and diligent. We also had a wonderful guardian at litem. He was our son’s safety net if child services missed something.

bumbumpopsicle2 karma

Former foster parent to a poly-drug effected baby and Court Appointed Special Advocate here!

How was your foster experience? Was there any resistance to termination of parental rights? How did you manage the emotional highs and lows, anxiety, and uncertainty of waiting to adopt?

slicc_nicc1 karma

Yes there was a resistance by both parents at first. When mom went to prison and cleaned up she quickly did the right thing for him and signed an adoption consent. Bio dad held out until the state terminated his rights. Even though he was facing a 5 year sentence.

We managed by just focusing on our son and providing him what he needed. There were definitely a lot of difficult and emotional days. We also relied a lot on friends and family for support.

mezmiro2 karma

My only pieces of advice would be, try to be as open and honest with him as much as you can, and try not to place too much bias on him in terms of worry that he might become a user later in life. You might create the very situation that you're working to avoid.

It's natural to be concerned, but I've noticed that this worry can develop into personality and behavioral defects that surface later in life as parents coddle the child and label them based on assumptions of their past and who they might become.

Most of what you described appears to be the normal behavior of a child his age though, and perhaps you have yet to see the real signs of impairment that come with this situation? Be open minded, and patient. The real concerns come when he starts school and begins to become more social.

slicc_nicc1 karma

Very insightful thank you! Yes right now his behavior isn’t extreme enough to rule out of its his personality/age. School is definitely when we will have a better idea of the impacts of his exposure.

MagicMOOSE666-10 karma

Do you feel bad you cant continue your genetic line and have to take someone else's child?

slicc_nicc8 karma

Not at all.