New law could terminate mother's right to drug-dependent babies

New law could terminate mother's right to drug-dependent babies
Samantha Grant is a young mom with two sons. Though she used meth during her latest pregnancy, she is now sober. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A new bill in the Kentucky House of Representatives aims to tackle the problem of drug addicted mothers and their newborn babies.

House Bill 1 could end their rights as parents if they don't try to get sober.

We met Samantha Grant, a young mom and her two sons. She is proud of their blue eyes, and of being sober after abusing meth during her pregnancy.

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"It was really scary waiting on CPS to come up there and tell me if I was going to be able to take my new born child home," she told us.

She is worried about HB 1.

"All you hear is how mothers get their children taken away, you never hear about how they get them back," Grant said.

Under HB 1, if the mother doesn't enroll in a drug treatment program within 60 days of giving birth, the baby would be considered "abused or neglected" and the court process would start immediately. The state would ask the court to consider a termination of parental rights.

"It's a bill that's been designed around what is best for the child in this situation, not what's best for the government, or even the parents in this situation," Rep. David Meade (R-Majority Caucus Chair), the bill's sponsor, said.

Meade told us the point of the bill is to keep families together by giving moms an incentive to get the help they need.

Grant said taking custody away from a struggling mother could send them deeper into addiction.

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"He honestly saved my life," she said of her 11-month-old son.

She'd been sober for a month before she had him, and was able to keep custody. Her sister has custody of her three-year-old.

Grant is still clean and full of dreams, hoping to be the mother they deserve.

"He is a miracle to me," she said. "He is what keeps me going."

The bill passed the House. It's now headed to the Senate.

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