An American Idol finalist is living a nightmare after Child Protective Services took her babies away — even though she says she didn’t do anything wrong.

On Tuesday, Syesha Mercado held a news conference with her baby daddy Tyron Deener to explain how she’s been missing out on precious moments with her newborn daughter Ast, whom she recently handed over to Manatee County Sheriff’s deputies in a heartbreaking viral video, and her toddler son Amen’Ra, who was put in foster care by authorities back in March.

The Book of Mormon actress broke down in tears as she detailed the fight to regain custody of Amen’Ra. Accusing CPS workers of falsely claiming she and her partner refused to provide certain medical treatment to their son, the performer cried:

“Our son has since been placed with a white foster family without interviewing qualified relatives or friends of our family for placement while they investigate. We are given limited information and presently only have weekly zoom visitation for an hour with our son, with no court order stating these visitation limitations.”

As we reported, Amen’Ra was taken from his momma earlier this year following a hospital visit where a doctor claimed the boy was malnourished. Mercado claimed she had taken her son to Johns Hopkins All Children’s in Florida for fluids while transitioning from breastfeeding to the bottle. The doctor who assessed Amen’Ra was later accused of being too quick to decide caregivers had abused their kids without actually investigating, but she denied the claims, according to USA Today.

Related: Michelle Branch Announces Pregnancy After Suffering From Miscarriage Last Year

Amid their fight to reunite with Amen’Ra, Syesha and her partner were pulled over in Florida on a traffic stop last week, when officers discovered she had a newborn baby girl. Officials told the couple they were taking Ast because the pair reportedly didn’t tell authorities she’d given birth during their ongoing legal battle for their son.

For his part, Deener said he doesn’t understand why their children were taken away from them in the first place, as they are “law abiding citizens” who have not done anything “irresponsible as parents.” He said:

“Our children should have never been taken from us in the first place. We are law abiding citizens. We have no criminal background and we have no history with the Department of Family Services… We wake up every single day and we have to look at our baby setup, and look at their swings and they’re not here. And we have not committed any crime. We have not abused our babies, we have not done anything that is irresponsible as parents.”

Noting that they’re both upset about the kids not getting to meet, Syesha acknowledged the ongoing battle has taken a toll on them, sharing:

“The only way we get through is there’s just a strength that comes every day to get us through the day. And we just stay focused on them bringing them home.”

You can watch the heartbreaking video here.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump has now gotten involved in the case, and he’s already calling out the deputies for making an exhibition out of a Black family and “publicly dehumanizing them.” Meanwhile, Syesha started a GoFundMe page to help cover her legal costs, which has already more than doubled its $200,000 goal.

We hope the couple stays strong as they continue the fight to get their children back.

[Image via Nicky Nelson/WENN]

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Aug 18, 2021 07:00am PDT

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