‘American Idol’ Alum May Be Reunited With Son After Long Custody Battle

American Idol

YouTube The season 7 finalists of "American Idol."

An “American Idol” finalist may soon be reunited with her son after a torturous seven months of separation.

Syesha Mercado, who placed third on season 7 of “American Idol,” was first separated from her now 16-month-old son Amen’Ra in February 2021. Mercado had stopped producing a sufficient amount of breast milk and was concerned by Amen’Ra’s refusal to accept other fluids. She and her partner Tyler Deener decided to bring Amen’Ra for a checkup at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida.

About two weeks later, Mercado and Deener were removed from the hospital premises for trespassing. Their son had been placed in foster care without their knowledge, over concerns of malnutrition. The Herald-Tribune reports that Mercado stated she didn’t know her son had left the hospital and that no family members were contacted about taking the child in.

Now, after seven months, Mercado’s son may finally be coming home. “Conversations are in play and Ra should be home soon. The family is in negotiations to have him returned home,” Donisha Prendergrast, co-founder of We Have the Right to be Right, told the Herald-Tribune.

We Have the Right to Be Right is a community non-profit organization that aims to combat oppression and discrimination.


Mercado’s Infant Daughter Was Taken As Well

Mercado was pregnant with a daughter when her son was put in foster care in March 2021. On August 11, Florida law enforcement officials took 10-day-old Ast away from Mercado.

Mercado posted an Instagram video of the incident. “This is so wrong! This is my baby! My baby is healthy and happy! I’m not a danger to my baby,” the “American Idol” alum says in the video.

On August 20, Mercado’s partner Deener shared a video on Mercado’s Instagram page, announcing that Ast had been returned to them. Mercado’s Instagram bio currently reads, “our Sun Amen’Ra has been Legally kidnapped by Johns Hopkins all childrens hospital & Manatee county sheriff’s & has yet to be returned.”


Mercado Can Only See Her Son With Supervision

On August 29, Mercado shared an Instagram video of her son. She can be seen in the video playing a drum, singing, and holding Amen’Ra. Her infant daughter and Deener also appear in the video.

In the Instagram caption, Mercado explains that these happy moments with her son were brief. “Amen’Ra is not home yet. Today we have 2 hr supervised visitation. There needs to be Accountability and no immunity for Social/Case workers,” Mercado wrote.

In September, Mercado shared an image of Amen’Ra on her Instagram story in which a bump can be seen on his head. “Ra’s been banging his head repeatedly. No one notified me of this bruise. I noticed it on a video call and asked what happened,” the mother-of-two wrote in the story. “My baby wants to come HOME,” she added, citing “trauma” and “frustration” as the reasons for Amen’Ra banging his head.

A Go Fund Me called “Bring Ra Home” has raised more than $460,000 to help the family with legal fees.

“On March 11th, 2021 our sun Amen’Ra was forcefully taken from us by CPS, who claim we refused a B12 shot that was a matter of life and death, which is an absolute lie. We never refused a B12 shot, and at no point was he on the verge of death,” the Go Fund Me description reads.

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