NAPW

To: Lynn M. Paltrow

Executive Director

National Advocates for Pregnant Women

www.advocatesforpregnantwomen.org


I hereby authorize the use of this statement with my name by NAPW.

Dear Ms. Paltrow,

My wife and I are former foster parents. Our daughter, Erica, was prenatally exposed to alcohol by her mother who has alcoholism. She came to us as a foster child at age 4 with 14 previous foster care and orphanage placements. She was severely socially and intellectually delayed due to undiagnosed fetal alcohol syndrome. We adopted her a year later in an open adoption. Erica continues to have a close relationship with her birth family. She has now completed two years of college, has been employed as a day care worker.

Erica has a strong sense of purpose, of being loved, and of how much she was harmed by fetal alcohol. She is looking forward to a career with disadvantaged children with who she feels a strong affinity. She is well aware that the child protection system did not effectively work with her or her mother. She recalls being shuttled among institutions and homes or returned to an alcoholic and physically violent home.

I asked Erica what she thought of the the CRACK program. She wrote: "I think that instead of sterilization, they should use the $200 to enter them into a drug treatment program instead. They don't need to be sterile, they need drug treatment. I don't believe it's right to use that money for sterilization. If these women are choosing to do this, they should use their own money. I am not an expert in this field, that is just what I think from what I know."

I entirely agree with Erica's wise assessment of the CRACK program.

Fundamentally, CRACK jettisons mothers in a way that reinforces the larger societal system of inadequate coverage for mental health and substance abuse disorders, dysfunctional foster care, non-living wages to many, and disgracefully low rates of access to health care for children.

Sincerely,


Steven Miles, MD

Professor of Medicine

N 504 Boynton

University of Minnesota

410 Church Street

Minneapolis, MN 55455



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