In Michigan, "a child has a legal right to begin life with sound mind and body." Yet the family court may not assert Juvenile Code jurisdiction until after birth. In re Baby X addressed the question of whether a parent's prenatal conduct may form the basis for jurisdiction upon birth. It held that a mother's drug use during pregnancy is neglect, allowing the court to assert jurisdiction immediately upon the child's birth. In deciding Baby X, the Court specifically reserved the question of whether parental drug use during pregnancy might be sufficient to permanently deprive a parent of custody. In the 40 years since that April 1980 decision, our knowledge regarding the impact of prenatal exposure to drugs and alcohol has grown dramatically and the law has evolved. These developments suggest prenatal exposure is an aggravating circumstance and should result in immediate termination of parental rights when a petition is filed, at least in some cases.
Vandervort, Frank E. "Prenatal Drug Exposure as Aggravated Circumstances." Mich. B.J. 98, no. 11 (2019): 24-6.