Healthcare News & Insights

Mom claims she lost custody of her kids due to cancer

A woman fighting Stage 4 cancer says her diagnosis was unfairly used against her in a child custody case.

Alaina Girodano of Durham, North Carolina, was ordered to send her two kids (ages 11 and 6) to live with their father in Chicago before the start of the coming school year. She claims that the deciding factor against her was health.

Giordano has Stage 4 breast cancer which has spread to her bones, although doctors say she is currently “stable and not progressing.” She’s launched a campaign on Facebook and other Web outlets to raise funds and gather support for what she says is an unfair decision.

But the case isn’t as clear cut as it seems at first glance.

The custody battle to date has featured mutual allegations of domestic abuse and infidelity and both parents were arrested after one fight got out of hand. The children’s father, Kane Snyder, argued in court that he’s the only parent with a steady income and Giordano’s current health leaves her unable to care properly for the children. In one instance, she failed to make child care arrangements when she was scheduled to be admitted to the hospital. One of Giordano’s doctors ended up taking the children home with her from the hospital, so that family services workers wouldn’t have to be called to take them.

To what extent should a parent’s cancer diagnosis factor into a child custody case? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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