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LOVE, ADOPTION IN A TIME OF OPIOIDS

A Summary from Blake & Associates Law Firm


BY RITA GIORDANO

Adoptions From the Heart is a Wynnewood-based, private adoption agency, that saw its rate of opioid-involved birth mothers rise from 33 percent in 2016 to 52 percent in 2017. Likewise, the Open Arms Adoption Network, a program of the Jewish Children and Family Services of Greater Philadelphia headquartered in Elkins Park, reported a 50 percent increase in babies exposed to opioids in the womb.

This is a seldom-told but increasingly common story in an opioid epidemic that continues not only in the Philadelphia region but across the country.

"It's true nationally, not just in Philadelphia, that of the children being placed for private adoptions, more of them had previously experienced substance exposure, including exposure to opioids, or were born with an addiction to opioids," said Ryan Hanlon, vice president of the National Council for Adoptions.

But these Montgomery County-based adoption agencies also offer hope: Children are placed in secure homes with loving parents, many of whom have tried to adopt for years. Because most of the agencies allow varying degrees of open adoptions, the birth mothers may retain some contact with their children. They can also get assistance, referrals even scholarships and the knowledge they are helping their children.

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