Methamphetamine abuse during pregnancy and the risk of foster care placement in Thailand

Boonying Manaboriboon, Supinya In-iw, Sureelak Sutcharipongsa, Gornmigar Winijkul, Sujitra Kumpa, Chiraporn Somchit, Chulathida Chomchai - Children and Youth Services Review



This study aimed to examine characteristic and outcome of mothers and babies focusing on the teen-mothers and their existing risk-behaviors, also to evaluate factors associated with subsequent foster care placements of their infants.


Data of all pregnant women, categorized as teens and non-teens, with history of methamphetamine abuse giving birth at Siriraj Hospital between August2003-December2011 were reviewed. Maternal demographic, characteristic of substance uses and neonatal outcome were collected. Chi-square, Fisher exact, Mann-whiney U test, and logistic regression were used to analyze where appropriate. The protocol was approved by Siriraj Hospital IRB.


Overall 235 pregnant women, both groups’ characteristics were similar except number of life-time partners, contraception-use, smoking history and sexual risk behaviors (p<.05). Majority of pregnancies (96.2%) were unplanned with 78.3% no antenatal care. 76.2% had positive methamphetamine-screen urine at delivery. During follow-up, 58.3% remained using methamphetamine. 75.3% of babies were born at term and 70.2% had positive meth-urine at birth. Significant predictors for the need of foster care placements were history of using methamphetamine while pregnant (OR 5.931; 95% CI 3.060-11.496, p ≤.05), positive meth-screen urine at delivery (OR 3.471; 95% CI 1.635-7.367, p ≤.05), positive meth-screen urine of babies after birth (OR 5.021; 95%CI 2.456-10.268, p ≤.05), and using methamphetamine during the home visit period (OR 9.073,95%CI 3.843-21.419, p <.05)


Characteristics and psychosocial outcome of methamphetamine abuse between teen and non-teen mothers were similar. History of methamphetamine use during pregnancy, positive meth-screen urine of mother and babies after birth were the noteworthy predictors to place the babies to foster parents.