Should children be taken off addicts?
I want to ask you this because of a story I read in the papers today. A policeman went above and beyond the call of duty after finding a heavily pregnant homeless woman using heroin – by adopting her baby.
Officer Ryan Holets, from Albuquerque in New Mexico, came across Crystal Champ while he was on duty on September 23.
Footage from Ryan’s body camera shows him walking towards a man and a woman sitting on the ground behind a convenience store.
He asked the couple if they were about to shoot up and then asks the woman if she is pregnant. She tells him she is about 7 months gone.
The woman is homeless on the streets of New Mexico and a heroin and methamphetamine addict.
Ryan, already a father of four children, decided instantly he wanted to help by adopting Crystal’s baby.
Champ gave birth to a baby girl three weeks later, on October 12, and Ryan adopted her. He named her Hope.
The baby went through medical treatment after birth to help her deal with withdrawal symptoms.
In an interview Ryan said: “It’s not every day that I see a sight like that and it just, it just made me really sad.
“I’d gotten tired of seeing so many situations where I want to help but can’t and in that moment I realised that I had a chance to help.”
The woman is trying to turn her life around but is grateful her baby is now being looked after.
This is good news story in some sense considering this baby is now going to grow up in a loving family free of drugs.
Unfortunately, in Ireland we don’t see a lot of happy endings like this. We see children growing up with addict parents and they are on a path to ruin as they do not get a decent start in life.
Today I want to ask you if children should be taken into care in Ireland if their parents are addicts. It seems to be a last resort to take children away from their parents even if they are addicted to alcohol or drugs.
I have seen the sights myself where children are walking down the street with a parent who is clearly out of their heads. Social services will get involved in some situations but taking the children off the parents is always the last option.
Should it be the first option rather than the last?
Some people will say that taking children from their parents and into care can also have devastating effects on a child.
Surely, taking them out of an environment where drink or drugs is the main objective of these parents is the right thing to do for the children.
Should children be immediately taken away from parents if they are addicted to drink or drugs?
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