Saskatchewan

Girl born addicted to methadone recovers

The future is looking a little more hopeful for a baby girl born addicted to methadone who has been put under the permanent care of Saskatchewan's Social Services Ministry.

The future is looking a little more hopeful for a baby girl born addicted to methadone who has been put under the permanent care of Saskatchewan's Social Services Ministry.

In a court decision published online this week, provincial court judge Murray Hinds ruled the girl known only by the initials A.L. is in need of protection. In an April 2 decision, Hinds ordered her committed to the minister of social services.

'A very smiley, easy-going little girl who likes to laugh.'—A.L. is doing well, court hears

But the judge also noted that after six weeks in hospital, the girl was weaned off methadone and now appears in good health.

Now 16 months old, when she was born at Regina General Hospital late in 2010, she had "very high toxicity levels and immediately suffered withdrawal symptoms in hospital due to the methadone that [the mother] had been taking while pregnant," the decision said.

Methodone is used in drug treatment programs to help addicts get off heroin or other narcotics.

Mother has substance abuse history

Court heard the mother, 26, has a history of substance abuse and had two other children seized by the province. The father suffers from schizophrenia and no longer lives with the mother.

A hearing was held to determine whether or not the province should have custody of the child. Neither parent appeared at that hearing.

Returning the child to her natural parents would put her at risk of serious harm, the judge said.

Despite her circumstances at birth, today the girl appears healthy, the decision said. The toddler is in foster care and has been described as "a very smiley, easy-going little girl who likes to laugh."

The judge said it's likely the girl will be adopted, but that will be up to Social Services following an investigation of any prospective adoptive parents.

 

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