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Resource ID: #27494
Tighter drug laws in the United States increasingly mandate that newborns be stripped from drug-taking birth parents, and often placed in foster care. Even when the traces of drugs are minimal. But foster care is fraught with problems. Since 2000, at least 10 drug-exposed newborns have died in foster care — deaths identified in a New York City News Service analysis of court records, local news stories and interviews with family advocates across the nation. While a tiny fraction of the approximately 18,000 drug-exposed infants put into foster care over the same period, these tragedies show that foster care is not always a safer option for drug-exposed newborns. The number of foster care deaths is most likely larger since state officials often cite privacy laws barring them from disclosing details.