Breast Cancer Costs Mom Custody

Kids should be with 'non-ill parent': psychologist

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted May 13, 2011 10:02 AM CDT

(Newser) – A judge says a North Carolina mom must send her kids to live with their dad in Chicago—in part because she’s battling cancer, Jezebel reports. Alaina Giordano’s children have been living with her since their father moved for a job. Her stage-4 breast cancer isn’t progressing, but the judge pointed to a psychologist’s statement in her decision to grant primary custody to Kane Snyder: “The more contact (the children) have with the non-ill parent, the better they do. Children want a normal childhood, and it is not normal with an ill parent.” The ruling also cited Giordano's current unemployment; she's a freelance writer and editor.

“It makes no sense to take them away from me because you don't know how long I'm going to live ... Everybody dies and none of us knows when,” Giordano told ABC News. Giordano says she can't move to Chicago because of her treatment at the Duke Cancer Institute, meaning she won’t see the kids except on weekends and holidays—and she can’t afford flights back and forth. Besides, basing a ruling on health sets a dangerous precedent, says an expert: “It's not a big jump from, 'I don't want Mom to have custody because she has stage 4 cancer' to 'I don't want Mom to have custody because she's a smoker.’”

Alaina Giordano loses child custody fight due to breast cancer.
Alaina Giordano loses child custody fight due to breast cancer.   (ABC News)
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