Alabama Woman’s Newborn Taken Away After a False-Positive Drug Test

Joe Vega: 106.7 WIZN, that is Def Leppard and Animal, heard Deep Purple, Smoke on the Water before that, Joe Vega here with you with your Wednesday rocking ride home. Got Ben Barry on the phone right now from  Martin Harding & Mazzotti. Hello Ben.

Ben Barry: Hello Joe.

Joe Vega: So the subject of the week is this lady in Alabama basically gave birth and then they drug tested her for some reason and she came back, she tested positive for opiates and they took the baby away, and then it later turned out that it was a false positive and so they obviously gave her her baby back. I guess my question is, could this sort of thing happen here in Vermont?

Ben Barry: It could. That sounds rather intense.

Joe Vega: Let’s say it wasn’t even something like opiates, let’s say it was just like pot.

Ben Barry: Okay. So in Vermont, marijuana would not cause any state agency to remove your child from your care as a newborn. In fact, I don’t even know that testing positive for an opiate would require or necessitate that kind of action.

Joe Vega: Right. And this was a false positive brought on by poppy seeds. It’s the classic Seinfeld episode, right. She was eating a poppy seed bagel or bread or something and that caused her to test positive for opiates. I guess my question is, because I don’t have kids and you just had a kid, do they normally test women for drugs after they give birth?

Ben Barry: I don’t think that’s standard protocol. No, I don’t. I think that there may have been other things that were being tested for and perhaps maybe a toxicology report is part of that, but to my knowledge, a drug test is not part of the labor process or the post-birth process, generally speaking. It does become part of the safety plan when a mandated reporter reports to Department of Social Services or the department of children that there’s suspected drug use or the child tests positive, there’s certainly some followup. But generally speaking, I don’t think that it’s sort of standard practice to provide drug testing to that extent during birth. I may be wrong, but I don’t think that that is in fact the case.

Joe Vega: All right. Thank you very much, Ben Barry, from Martin, Harding & Mazzotti.

Ben Barry: You’re welcome, Joe. Thank you.

Joe Vega: You can call Ben at any time at 1-800-LAW-1010 or go online to All right, I’m outta here. Mel Allen’s taking over. He’s got music from Foghat and The Police next.