Supreme Court Rules Against Mom With Cancer in Custody Battle
August 15, 2011
In May, we wrote about a heartbreaking custody dispute, where mom Alaina Giordano faced losing her children because she has Stage 4 breast cancer. Now TIME reports that the North Carolina Supreme Court has ruled against her. This Wednesday, her two children, ages 6 and 11, will leave her home in Durham, NC, to live with their father and Giordano’s ex-husband in Chicago.
Giordano, 37, hopes to appeal the judge’s decision, but her chances seem slim since it’s unlikely a court would want to move the children twice. Her battle has been a tough one, with mutual allegations of cheating, domestic violence, bad parenting and jail time for both Giordano and her ex after a particularly heated argument. The court has also questioned whether her illness and work status (she’s currently unemployed; her ex-husband works for Sears) makes her fit to be a parent. Her doctors don’t think there’s any reason she can’t be a good mother through her illness and that there’s a chance her cancer won’t progress. Giordano, for her part, says she’s still able to do the day-to-day mom stuff she’s always done.
While Giordano plans to visit her children often after they make the 800-mile move, she can’t herself move to be closer to them. The North Carolina mom has been chosen for a Duke University clinical trial, meaning she has to live nearby participate. “I'm forced to make a decision between seeing my kids every day and not living as long to be their mom,” she says.
Do you think the North Carolina Supreme Court make the right decision? Is being seriously ill a good reason for a parent to lose custody?