State Takes Custody of Three Nebraska Newborns From Moms With History of Meth Use

By Victoria Kim 01/14/15

Two women with histories of drug use before and after pregnancy have seen their newborns taken away.

Newborn baby

Three newborn babies in Nebraska were placed in state custody last week, because of their mothers’ drug use. Lancaster County Juvenile Court judges approved requests to take custody of the infants on Monday, Jan. 5.

The first case involves twin babies, born Dec. 27, whose stool samples tested positive for methamphetamine. On Dec. 29, a Health and Human Services caseworker received a report that the infants’ mother, who is from Lincoln, had a history of meth use and tested positive for meth early in her pregnancy.

Days later, the mother revealed to the caseworker that she had used meth in the days after giving birth to the twins. The twins appeared healthy after their birth with no signs of medical complications.

The second case involves a baby girl whose mother, also from Lincoln, was suspected of using drugs during her pregnancy. Nurses observed that the infant was abnormally shaky, a symptom common in babies going through drug withdrawal, according to the caseworker.

The parents’ history of drug use, homelessness, and mental health issues also provoked the caseworker to seek custody of the infant.

The state has taken custody of 37 newborns in the past two years, according to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services spokesman Russ Reno. However, it is unknown how many of these cases were drug-related, since the department does not keep track of the reasons for custody requests.

Custody hearings for both cases were set for Wednesday, but so far no updates have been found.

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