FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 2, 2023
Contact: Laura Macklem
BILL TO FAST TRACK PERMANENT PLACEMENT OF DRUG ADDICTED BABIES GETS APPROVAL FROM HOUSE COMMITTEE
NC Values Coalition Tami Fitzgerald made a statement today on the advancement of HB 647, the “Expedite Child Permanency” bill which would ensure that drug addicted babies who enter state custody, are immediately placed in foster care and placed in permanent homes within one year. The legislation also states any person a neglected child has resided with for 15 months may petition for termination of parental rights.
“North Carolina needs to ensure helpless, innocent babies who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction can recover in a safe environment and be given the care they need. A baby born on opioids, for instance, requires two months of careful monitoring in a NICU, a slow weaning of the substance. They cry inconsolably for hours and days on end, and must be watched over by guardians who are sober and responsible,” said Fitzgerald. “The average addicted mother will relapse five times over a number of years before staying consistently clean, and during that time children often end up in foster care, not able to bond with permanent parents and eventually aging out of adoptability. This legislation would put children, not adults, first allowing them to be placed in a loving home within a year. Every child deserves a family, and to be safe.”