Mom With Breast Cancer Loses Custody of 2 Kids

This story really hit me in the gut.

A North Carolina mother with stage IV breast cancer lost her custody battle for her 2 kids, ages 11 and 5 this week, because judge Nancy Gordon stated “The course of her disease is unknown.  Children who have a parent with cancer need more contact with the non-ill parent,”

mom loses custody over breast cancer

Alaina and her two children Sofia and Bud

Alaina Giordano age 33, was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer 3 years ago and is currently undergoing treatment for her illness.  Stage IV means the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.   Curing cancer at stage IV is difficult, but not impossible.  Lance Armstrong had stage IV cancer.

Her ex-husband lives in Chicago and works a full time 9-5 job.  He will need after school care for the 2 school aged children.  He has just moved to Chicago and has no family there.  He moved because of his new job.

Alaina is not able to work, and cannot fly to Chicago to see the kids because of her condition.  She is hoping that her husband flies her kids to her so she can see them.  She doesn’t know how long she has to live.  “If Giordano wants to be near her children”, the judge said, “she should move to Chicago as well”.

Move to Chicago? Away from her support system of friends that she’s had for years, and away from the Duke Cancer Institute doctors, some of the best in the world, that have been treating her for the past 3 years?

Illness has never been used as a legal reason to remove children from the home.”What the court has done is expanded the traditional understanding of what unfitness is.” said the family attorney Michael Cornacchia.

Does  “terminally ill” mean “unfit”?

Many women live 5 or more years with stage IV breast cancer.  And these might be the last years she will have on earth to be in her kid’s lives and influence them as her children.  Her cancer is reportedly stable and not progressing.  If she is currently being treated, and that is usually a sign that the treatment is working even if it’s working slowly.

We don’t know the whole story of this custody battle, and the mother is the only one speaking out right now as the dad has still to release a statement, but the fact remains that this mother’s breast cancer was one of the main factors in deciding the custody of her kids.

Could future parents lose custody of their kids because of other illnesses like diabetes and heart disease?

Her Facebook page is trying to spread the word and get help.

I’ll be watching this one.

Categories: breast cancer, breast cancer awareness

Tags: , ,

13 replies

  1. My husband is using this as an argument in our current divorce. The courts feel that even though I have no evidence of cancer at this time, the research shows most people with ovarian cancer will relapse. They are even considering removing the children from their school system to be closer to their “father” if I should die! Our system does not listen to reason or logic. I have never not been able to parent my children nor taken a sick day from work and yet they are making this assumption based on a man without a medical degree!

    • That’s wrong on so many levels. I can’t tell you how sorry I am for everything you are going through. I hope you have a good lawyer that can show the judge some reason and fight for your right to be with your kids. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do even if it’s giving you a place to vent. Keep me updated with your health and custody progress. I wish you peace.

  2. This is shocking and infuriating. The kids are old enough that they can probably be fine even if their mom cannot provide as much assistant in their life. Alaina can probably be as good of a parent as those parents who work full time. I don’t understand the logic of children with an ill parent needs more contact with the other parent. The love this one ill parent can give to her children cannot be measured by the condition of her health. I feel like the legal system is punishing her for her being ill. I’m sad to hear this…

  3. This is just not fair on the mother and the kids. How could this judge be that stupid? The mother needs her kids to be by her side and those kids have a right to be with their mother and spend as much time they might have left together. There is a saying: You cannot buy back time or love.

  4. How horrible! My Prayers certainly go out to the entire family!

  5. I am still in shock over this. thanks for posting Savvy Sister so we can support this poor mother.

  6. What on earth? Cancer should not be a deciding factor whatsoever! It’s like this woman is being punished for being sick… when at this time she should be surrounded with the people she loves most- her children! I’m actually stunned.

  7. Oh no, how unfair!!! And coming from a female judge is shocking. Wow… I’m speechless.

So whaddya think?

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