A single mother from Arlington, Virginia has found herself caught in the middle of a child custody battle with an international twist. A judge is threatening to throw Rebekah Frimpong in jail and make her give up her son, Solomon, to foster care if she does not take the boy on a six-week visit to see his Father in Ghana. According to WUSA9, Frimpong is terrified that she may lose her son because she can’t afford the cost of travel or to get the vaccinations needed to take her son on the trip.
She now has two weeks to comply with the court’s order. If she doesn’t, she could be charged with contempt of court or get thrown into jail. Frimpong, who works as a receptionist in addition to attending graduate classes, says she can’t afford the cost of traveling to Ghana.
“To go to Ghana for six weeks with a 2-year-old, it’s going to be at least six weeks. It can run up to $5,000 and I also don’t have any place to stay when I go,” she said. Frimpong maintains that her son’s father did not show any interest in the boy until about a year ago when she sought full custody and filed claims for child support.
Frimpong is of Ghanaian ancestry and she has lived in the country before, but she says that her life is now in the U.S., adding that she currently has little or no connection to Ghana. Solomon, the toddler at the center of the custody battle, was born in Virginia.
“I just don’t understand why it’s so important to ship off a 2-year-old to a country they don’t know, they’ve never been to, and not even be allowed to set up safe precautions for that child,” she said.
“This is the only time I can fend for my son. When he becomes an adult, he’s on his own. But now it’s my responsibility to do what is best for him. And I’ve done everything that this judge has asked me to do.”
Frimpong claims that the presiding judge has also blocked her from using popular crowdfunding site “GoFundMe” to raise money to cover travel expenses.
Court documents show that Solomon’s father was originally supposed to pay for travel expenses, but Frimpong says the previous arrangement fell apart when the attorney representing her child’s father would not cooperate with her.
“Because I don’t have a lawyer, I’m not allowed to be heard,” she added.
BY MARK BABATUNDE.