Mom loses custody of kids because of cancer

Katherine - posted on 05/10/2011 ( 9 moms have responded )

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Imagine getting the most horrible news a woman and mother of two can imagine -- stage four breast cancer, and a strong likelihood that your life and your time here with your children could be cut short. Then imagine it gets worse and that your kids are taken away in what could be your final months or years.

That's what happened to Alaina Giordano, 37, from Durham, North Carolina. Soon after a terminal breast cancer diagnosis, Giordano's marriage to her kids' father fell apart, and a judge ruled that she must give up custody of both her children -- Sofia, 11, and Bud, 5 -- to her estranged husband who lives in Chicago. The reason? Because of the "deteriorating condition" of her health, despite the fact that her cancer is currently stable and not progressing.

Giordano told ABC News:

Anybody who knows me knows my children are my life. They are what give me strength and part of the reason I’m doing so well.

I don't have terminal breast cancer, but these words ring so true to me. I can only imagine having such a diagnosis would make it pretty hard to get up every morning. However, while there would be excruciatingly difficult days, I imagine, I would be ever grateful -- for both my mental and physical health -- to continue to be an active parent in my kids' lives. I mean, what better people to keep you going than your children? And what better way to stay motivated for living life than to be much needed and called upon on a daily basis? Especially if that's what this mother wants and needs!

The ruling notes that Giordano is currently an unemployed freelance writer and editor; however, is that so hard to believe or fathom, given the circumstances of her health and life right now? With terminal cancer and everything that goes along with that already on her plate, does she really need unemployment to work against her?

Obviously, a court needs to consider the kids' well being first and foremost and we don't know all the details of this custody case, but if this mother is able to get up every day and be a mom to her kids, then why has custody been revoked? How can they take a relationship that will already be cut short away from this woman and away from her children? It's devastatingly life altering, to say the least.

WATCH the news story from ABC here:

What's your opinion on this custody decision? Wouldn't you want your children around as much as possible if this were you?

news story: http://thestir.cafemom.com/big_kid/12008...


Do you think she should lose her kids? Why would a judge do this?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Lady Heather - posted on 05/10/2011

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If it was my husband who was ill, I couldn't stand the idea of stealing the last bit of time my kids might have with their dad away from them. Once again a parent has let a marriage dispute disrupt a child's life. This woman is his kids' mother for god's sake. If she dies and they miss that time with her, they might never forgive him. No matter how it really went down, all they know is their dad took them and mum died. Sad.

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Kimberly - posted on 05/11/2011

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its amazing on how the government gets involved and destroys everything. and what about the father was it him that got the government involved and why isnt he fighting against it.sounds to me there is alot going on here.

Lady Heather - posted on 05/11/2011

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I was just reading Canadian Living yesterday and they mentioned this new organization that's started up in some major Canadian cities. It's a volunteer nanny system that helps families dealing with illness like this. Such a good idea and woiuld totally solve problems like this.

Nikki - posted on 05/11/2011

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I don't even know what to say to this. It is just too sad that our country has come to this point.

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The guy is, of course, a jerk, but I wouldn't want my kids to basically watch me die.

Of course, I watched my grandma die from cancer in my early 20's. It was fast, but it was brutal. In the last week or so I couldn't even stand to go in her room. I felt horrible about it, but I couldn't watch this woman that I knew and loved so well not BE that woman anymore....

Amber - posted on 05/11/2011

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@ Laura, how can he bring the kids to see her every day if he's moved to Chicago and they are in North Carolina?

What a miserable human being. How are her kids going to handle the illness and potential death of their mother if they have been taken more than 800 miles away? It seems like finding her a helper would be a much better solution.

Isobel - posted on 05/11/2011

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ummmmmm...The article doesn't say that he's not going to bring the kids to see her every day.

Is it not humanly possible to imagine the fact that while a woman fighting stage four breast cancer, while needing to see her kids as much as humanly possible, should also be able to sleep in...and take naps whenever she wants, and relax after chemo without stopping the kids from fighting and trying to get them to swimming class?

Personally, I would understand. I would HOPE that somebody would help me raise my kids.

In fact, I would hope that if I didn't see how difficult it would be...somebody would love me enough to ensure that I could get the rest and time that I needed to fight the disease without getting up at 7 am every day to make lunches and dragging them to lessons 3 times a week, and dealing with all their fights.

Bonnie - posted on 05/11/2011

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Marriage is until death and it is so wrong that the husband won't stand by her. I hear this way too much, it's sad. Unfortunately she probably doesn't have the strength to care for the kids on her own anyway, but it would be nice for him to stand up and be a man and help in the situation.

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Okay first off I disagree with the court decision that's horrible. Second if it were me I would be devestated to lose my kids. Finally I do have to add that my ex lost his father to cancer and before anyone knew of the diagnosis he did send the kids back to their mom and started having less and less visitation. Everyone thought it was a horrible thing, called him a deadbeat, but the fact was that he didn't want his kids seeing him the way he was, he didn't want them in the home while he was sick and when he did finally get admitted into the hospital for good that was when he explained it to his ex. The kids were not allowed to visit and he passed away shortly after that. Now I know they are angry with him over it they feel it was unfair of him to make that decision for them and they have issues with their mother over the fact that she helped. At the end of the day though, regardless of how traumatic losing him the way they did was, he was successful in leaving them with good memories of him only and sparing them the trauma of seeing him sick and the months of stress and worry that goes with having a terminally ill parent. I think that decision is up to the parent though not a court, to take custody from a mother because she is ill is just flat out wrong. I could see how a mother might switch over custody for the emotional well-being of her kids but that doesn't mean custody should be taken from any ill parent if they are able and willing to care for their kids.

Desiree - posted on 05/10/2011

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Firstly I would like to say the husband is a shit, not to stand next to his wife no matter what while she is so ill. This is a personal opinion. Secondly While i understand the jugdes thoughts what about her rights as a mom do they not count?

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