Newborn tests positive, mom arrested

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 14, 2013

An Onycha woman who gave birth Saturday is facing chemical endangerment charges after she and her newborn son tested positive for narcotics.


Drug Task Force agents were contacted Saturday by the county Department of Human Resource officials after Donna Jean Barfoot, 38, gave birth at Andalusia Regional Hospital and tested positive for the drugs. When questioned, Barfoot admitted to using the drugs just days prior to delivering the baby, while also admitting she received very little medical care during her pregnancy, agents said.

Officials could not release the condition of the child other than to say he had been transferred to another medical facility for further evaluation and treatment.

Jail records show Barfoot was released Tuesday on a $250,000 bond. Court records indicate that Barfoot has prior convictions for theft of property, assault and possession of a controlled substance.

“Since the inception of the chemical endangerment law, my goal has been to have healthy parents raising healthy children – to get pregnant women into rehab so we don’t have newborn babies going through withdrawal,” said District Attorney Walt Merrell. “I don’t want to send a drug addict to prison, but addicts won’t typically make good choices for their own lives and for their children’s.

“If the parents won’t step up and take care of their children, we will,” he said. “This child came into the world addicted to drugs because his mother could not or would not make the decision to stop using drugs.

“She didn’t care that she was hurting her child every time she used, and he is suffering for her selfishness,” Merrell said. “He will probably have to deal with the consequences of her actions for the rest of his life.”