Winnipeg mom used drugs, alcohol during pregnancy before baby seized: documents

A woman holds a photo of a baby and an eagle feather at a press conference in support of the mother who's newborn baby was seized from hospital by Manitoba's Child and Family Services (CFS) at First Nations Family Advocate Office in Winnipeg on January 11, 2019. CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

A mother whose newborn was apprehended by Winnipeg Child and Family Services (CFS) and police at a Winnipeg hospital and streamed live on Facebook last month was using drugs and alcohol during her pregnancy, according to court documents.

The documents show the mom, who can’t be identified under Manitoba law, tested positive for Oxycontin a month before her due date, and allegedly admitted to using cocaine and alcohol during her pregnancy.

Her first child was also apprehended by CFS in 2014 because of concerns of substance abuse (crack cocaine and alcohol), neglect, mental health and inappropriate parenting, the files show. She was investigated twice for abuse.

READ MORE: Viral video of Manitoba newborn being apprehended by CFS prompts family to speak out

Emergency medical responders and hospital staff reported the mom had smelled like alcohol when she was taken to St. Boniface to give birth. The woman’s family has denied the allegation.

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The day after the baby was apprehended and the Facebook live video was shared hundreds of thousand of times, the mother, along with family members and First Nations leaders, spoke out about what they say is a child-welfare system biased against Indigenous peoples.

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The mother said she was “blindsided” by the apprehension and told reporters she had already arranged for a family member to take care of her baby.

But according to the court documents, that family member’s background check came back with “concerning results,” and further assessment was required.

The mother’s lawyer was unable to to comment by publication time.

READ MORE: Child apprehension laws to be amended so kids can’t be taken because of poverty

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The files say the mother thought the father could be one of two men, but the man she believed to be the dad was verbally abusive and is incarcerated.

At a child protection hearing on Wednesday, lawyers said a man has come forward claiming to be the father.

The hearing was adjourned for a week at the request of the man’s lawyer.

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