Virginia In Utero Exposure to a Controlled Substance Bill (HB 1786)
This law was last updated on Jul 11, 2017
HB 1786 would require local departments of social services to collect information during a family assessment to determine whether the mother of a child who was exposed in utero to a controlled substance sought substance abuse counseling or treatment prior to the child’s birth.
The bill requires mandated reporters of suspected child abuse or neglect to make a report if a finding is made by a health-care provider:
- within six weeks following a child’s birth that the child was born affected by substance abuse or experiencing withdrawal symptoms resulting from in utero drug exposure;
- within four years following a child’s birth that the child has an illness, disease, or condition that is attributable to maternal abuse of a controlled substance during pregnancy; or
- within four years following a child’s birth that the child has a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder attributable to in utero exposure to alcohol.
If a report or claim is based upon one of the of the aforementioned factors, the local department would be required to conduct a family assessment, unless an investigation is required by law or is necessary to protect the safety of the child, and develop a plan of safe care in accordance with federal law, regardless of whether the local department makes a finding of abuse or neglect.
Companion bill to SB 1086.
Passed the House on February 7, 2017 by a vote of 97-0.
Passed the Senate on February 14, 2017 by a vote of 40-0.
Approved by Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) on February 23, 2017.
The law will take effect on July 1, 2017.