Former American Idol star Syesha Mercado and her partner Tyron Deener have welcomed home their 20-month-old son, Amen’Ra, after the couple has undergone a months-long custody battle to get the child back in their care.
“AMEN’RA IS OFFICIALLY HOME!!!” Mercado captioned an Instagram post on Oct. 1. In the video that was shared, Deener noted, “Every person that has been involved in this process — in keeping our son away from us — all those individuals will be held accountable.”
“So, we just wanted to make this quick video because this is a great moment to have Ra physically back with us, but it’s not over with,” the father of the 20-month old said. “He’s back, he’s with us, but we’ve gotta deal with six months of supervision of the state coming into our home every week to show that we’re competent and able to raise our own baby.”
MADAMENOIRE reported that Mercado and Deneer’s household has struggled over the past year with Florida’s Manatee Child Protective Services (CPS) and the state’s Department of Children and Families (DCF).
In February, the parents took Amen’Ra — then 15 months — to the hospital to receive treatment as the child was strugging to transition from breast milk to solid foods. The toddler was taken into custody by Manatee CPS shortly thereafter and put into foster care.
According to the authorities, they’ve received a call from the hospital that said Amen’Ra “was severely malnourished.” Mercado and Deneer have consistently denied that claim.
In August, the couple’s then-newborn and second child, daughter Ast, was also taken out of their care by the Florida DCF after the two parents were pulled over and served a court order to turn over the child to the authorities for a check-up. Ast was later returned to her parents the following week. In a video the couple shared on social media at that time, they emphasized that they were still fighting to get Amen’Ra back home as well.
In a post shared on Oct. 5, Mercado said, “All of this has been a nightmare, and we are still living in a nightmare.”
“Because, right now, we are seeing for the past seven months how much our son has been through,” she explained. “We see it in his eyes. We see it in the way he plays. We see it in the way he tries to rest at night.”
“He has been unnecessarily traumatized,” Syesha emphasized, after alleging CPS recognized in their documentation that taking Amen’Ra from his home would be harmful to the child despite their decision to remove the toddler from this parents’ care anyway.
“How do we heal?” the singer asked. “They [CPS] want us to heal by weighting our son on a regular basis. I’m not even going to say how often, it’s ridiculous.”
“We have to weigh our son. He’s not allowed to lose weight,” she highlighted. “He has to do therapies where they monitor his play and his activities and he still has appointments.”