Prenatal Drug Exposure: CAPTA Reporting Requirements for Medical Professionals

If/When/How has released a first of its kind resource for healthcare professionals <> that makes clear when providers are not required to report substance use of pregnant and birthing people and their newborns.

Care providers are often unsure of state and federal requirements for drug testing pregnant and birthing people and their newborns, and hospital policies around drug tests are typically more stringent than the law requires. As a result, pregnant people and new parents face state violence and criminalization following unnecessary and harmful reports to the family policing system (also called the child welfare system)–research from Pregnancy Justice <> shows that the vast majority of arrests related to pregnancy were tied to substance use.

As many of you know, reporting is not resourcing, and not all—or even most—families will get the resources they need as a result of a report to the family policing system. Our hope is that this resource will help providers navigate uncertainty around reporting requirements while continuing to put their patients first. Because everyone should be able to access the reproductive care they want and need without fear of criminalization and state violence.

It is hoped that this resource will be useful to your advocacy. Please share widely with your networks. Please contact Elizabeth Ling if you are interested in learning more about this resource or receiving technical assistance from If/When/How <>.

Elizabeth Ling, JD | MSW, Senior Helpline Counsel

510.373.9871  |  Eastern Time Zone  |

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