Divorced Mom With Cancer Loses Custody of Kids
May 12, 2011
Divorce and custody issues are always excruciating, but for Alaina Giordano of Durham, N.C., it is a battle she wages along with stage 4 breast cancer. What’s worse is that Giordano was recently ruled by a judge that her condition makes her unfit to parent, granting custody to her soon-to-be-ex-husband, who now lives 600 miles away in Chicago. On a recent episode of The Today Show, Giordano appeared healthy, attributing her vitality to the team at Duke Medical Center, where she’s receiving treatment. Her prognosis at this point in unclear, and she receives treatment once a month.
Giordano appears to be ruled against largely due to her condition, which she says doesn’t affect her ability to mother on a daily basis. Since she is currently unemployed, the judge even went so far as to suggest Giordano move to Chicago to be closer to the children over whom she will soon lose primary custody, lest she appeal. “It appears to me that the judge decided that my husband’s job was more important than my health,” she said on Today.
Giordano alleges her children do not want to move and that she believes the fate of her cancer is best treated with her already-established team (one she said took her a couple years of research to find). Her situation raises a sticky issue if serious illness alone is precedent to make one unfit for parenting, and if so, would be a landmark case.What do you think? Does being very ill make you unfit to be a parent?