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Virginia In Utero Exposure to a Controlled Substance Bill (HB 1786)

This law was last updated on Jul 11, 2017




HB 1786




Jan 9, 2017


Co-sponsors: 11
Primary Sponsors: 1
Total Sponsors: 12


Substance Abuse During Pregnancy

Full Bill Text

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.

Related Legislation

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.