Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Making drug addicts sterile

This morning I was reading the metro on my way into work. I had to take a second look at an article, that I looked up and found in the NY Times too. Its an article about a group called Crack, or Children Requiring a Caring Kommunity, who are offering drug addicts 200-400$ in exchange for them becoming sterile. So there is a legal group offering a drug addict money (while they are already addicted and not of sane mind) to agree to a decision that will effect the rest of their lives, even if one day they may become sober. I don't know but that just seems crazy to me! I mean I guess if a person is committed to being a drug addict for the rest of their lives, with no one helping them to get clean, then maybe they should go for it, but what if they are just looking for money? What if they are trying to get clean and starving so they do it for the money? What if they want to get clean someday but don't know how and are waiting for help? On the other hand, I understand the motive behind wanting to prevent children from being born to parents that are addicts and who won't be necessarily taking care of them. Its a very confusing topic.

From the article:
"What she's doing is suggesting there are certain neighbourhoods where it is dangerous for some people to be reproducing," said Lynn Paltrow of National Advocates for Pregnant Women. "It suggests they are not worthy of reproducing."..."Since Crack began, it has paid 833 women and 21 men nationwide to become sterilised or have long-term birth control."

What are your thoughts? Would you help administer or donate to a group that was injecting permanent birth control into drug addicts to prevent unwanted births?


  1. I think we all have the chance to change our ways, don't we? I sure hope so!

  2. Oh wow! That is crazy. And such a good topic for debate. First I have to tell you that when my Little Middle was born, she was 4 weeks early so we spent a few days in the NICU. And in that NICU was a full term baby...HUGE...but she was a drug baby. I have never in my life heard a baby howl the way that poor soul did. She was in withdrawal. You just wanted to hold her until it was over. It was awful. Now that being said, it is indeed an argument for this. But...I don't know. Are they really in their right mind. Shouldn't there be a condition before they sign. Like you can not be high for 24 hours before you sign the doc. Wow. Just wow. It's an intense topic, Nikki! Great post.

  3. I think it- if they are willing to trade the chance at being a parent for $400 dollars...then they probably are making a good decision by not being one.

    I think its probably a pretty good idea. So long as no one is forcing them to do it- and its there choice? Then yes- by all means help them to not put a helpless baby through what they are knowingly choosing to do to themselves as an adult.

  4. It is a very confusing super sensitive topic, thank you for your comments so far!

    Lourie - That is very sad, I heard about children who are born that way and you can join a volunteer program where you go in and hold babies that are born addicted and it helps them. Something worth checking out I think! I wonder if they do it here. A condition is a good idea I think, maybe they could reverse it if they wanted later on if they become sober.

    Shan- I think the whole idea is that the people who are addicts are not knowing what they are signing away. They are so addicted, which I don't think is their fault, that they can't see what they are missing. No one is forcing them, but if you are addicted to a drug like cocaine and you have no one helping you to quit and no one caring, then the only drive in their mind is to get more money to get the drugs, they might not be thinking of a better life at that moment.

    This kind of reminds me of a woman who lives near us in Brooklyn. She is mentally disabled and got pregnant. Her son is now older, around 12 and he is a great kid. He goes to school, and is doing well. The debate then is whether addiction is voluntary or involuntary? if its involuntary, then its on the same page as mental illness/mental disabilities. Maybe the issue is really, who decides whether a child should be born or not? And what is the definition of an "unwanted" child? I hate to bring God into this, but if a child is meant to be born by a person who becomes drug addicted, who might later become sober, does that mean that being doesn't get born because the person, when they were drug addicted, has become sterile? I think I could go on and on about this.

  5. That is a tough one. If you were certain they were of clear mind and it was something they wanted to do anyway, it sounds fine... even good. But the likelihood an addict is of sound mind especially when they are looking for funds for their next fix isn't very good. I wonder what the percentage of these addicts ever become clean? If 99% never do become clean, then perhaps we are doing their future crack babies a favor. If a large number do become clean in time to become a capable, loving parent, then perhaps the money could be better spent getting them clean. It really is a good debate prompter. Thanks for making me think.


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