Sunday, December 21, 2008

Mom Wants Son Back

For the past six and a half years, Cunningham has not been considered a fit mother in the eyes of the Baltimore City Juvenile Court. They have ruled that Cunningham’s older sister, Jacqueline Parker, is a better parent to Maleek. But Cunningham says Parker has custody of “her baby” because her sister set her up and made it look as if she was violating probation, when she didn’t. Then, when Parker knew there was a warrant out for Cunningham’s arrest, Cunningham says she believes Parker told the police where they could find her.

Parker is the same sister who Cunningham says is responsible for getting her addicted to crack cocaine at the age of 15. And Cunningham says that 42-year-old Parker, the woman who is raising her son, is still addicted.

“She’s on drugs, she has my baby, and I’ve got to get him back,” Cunningham says with passion.

Now 33, Cunningham acknowledges she knows a little bit about crack, too. But she says she has been clean and sober for six and a half years. She sits composed and clear-minded on her living-room couch, dressed in black shorts and a white T-shirt, with chalk-white hoop earrings that give her a little ’70s flair. Her hair has that fresh-from-the-salon look, styled with a flip in the back, reminiscent of Mary J. Blige. It is perhaps no coincidence, since Cunningham says Blige is “one of my favorites.” And like Blige, Cunningham is unafraid to reveal the pain lurking behind her pulled-together exterior.

“I’m an honest person—not afraid to tell my past to anyone,” she says. Then she details all—the drugs, the arrests, the births of her children, and the fight to regain custody of her son. Her message? She’s made a lot of mistakes, but she has also had quite a bit of bad luck. And if she has turned her hard-knock life around, why shouldn’t she be allowed to regain custody of her son? After all, her troubles could have happened to anyone who had the type of upbringing that she had, growing up, as she says, “in the ’hood,” in West Baltimore on Franklin and Monroe streets. And now she is fighting not only for her son, but also for other mothers and fathers in similar straits, asking, in effect, if people who lose their liberty because of a conviction should necessarily lose their children forever.

Full Article and Source:
In Custody

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

She brought five children to life and three of them don't even want to live with her.

So no comments