Mom Loses Custody of Kids for Having Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer in the News
A North Carolina Mom with stage 4 breast cancer must hand her children over to her ex-husband, who lives in Chicago.
The breast cancer was used as a primary reason to deny primary custody. Another reason was her unemployment status and the fact that the ex-husband is employed. An excerpt from ABC News:
In a bitter child custody battle, Alaina Giordano’s terminal breast cancer has been a strike against her in court. A North Carolina judge denied Giordano primary custody of her two children in part because “the course of her disease is unknown” and “children who have a parent with cancer need more contact with the non-ill parent.”
“It makes no sense to take them away from me because you don’t know how long I’m going to live,” Giordano says. “Everybody dies and none of us knows when. Some of us have a diagnosis of cancer, or diabetes, or asthma. This is a particularly dangerous ruling to base a custody case on a diagnosis.”
[...] In her ruling, Judge Nancy Gordon cited forensic psychologist Dr. Helen Brantley: “The more contact [the children] have with the non-ill parent, the better they do. They divide their world into the cancer world and a free of cancer world. Children want a normal childhood, and it is not normal with an ill parent.”
From NBC News:
Judge Nancy Gordon ruled that because Giordano does not have a full time job and cannot support the children, the father should get primary custody. If Giordano wants to be near her children, the judge says she should move to Chicago as well.
Giordano, however, says her friends, her support system and her doctors are all in Durham. And that’s where she wants her kids to stay.
“I mean I have nothing left to lose. I’ve kind of lost everything at this point if I lose them,” Giordano said.
These certainly aren’t all the facts in the case. Domestic abuse, restraining orders, and mental health concerns are among other allegations in a bitter divorce.
From the Daily Mail:
On her campaign blog, she claimed: ‘Because I have a cancer diagnosis, I have spent the last sixteen months in court defending myself from the attacks of my abusive husband who filed a lawsuit against me in Durham County, NC asking for full, permanent custody of our two children using the argument that I have a cancer diagnosis.’
‘He then chose to move to the Chicago area to take a job at Sears Holdings, Inc. leaving our children in my sole physical custody since August 2010.’
The fact that the breast cancer was used as a main reason for removing the children from the home is deeply disturbing. One can only imagine the emotional ramifications for these children who are being taken away from their mother and moved to a distant city at this time.
Giordano’s stage 4 breast cancer is reported to be stable and not currently progressing. The psychological toll on her is truly unimaginable.
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