TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A judge has ruled on the custody battle for Noah McAdams. At 4:45 p.m. Monday, the judge denied Joshua McAdams and Taylor Bland-Ball custody of now 4-year-old Noah McAdams.
The judge said Noah must stay with his maternal grandparents. McAdams and Bland-Ball will have a chance to regain custody by working with child protection services and by obeying all requirements set by the judge.
This all started when Joshua McAdams and Taylor Bland-Ball left Hillsborough County on April 29 with their then 3-year-old son, who has leukemia, sparking a multi-state search.
Hillsborough deputies said McAdams and Bland-Ball failed to bring him to a medically-necessary hospital procedure and refused to follow up with additional lifesaving medical care. The Hillsborough County Child Protective Investigations Division obtained a court-authorized “take into custody” order for the child. When they went to serve the order, the child and parents were nowhere to be found.
The toddler had already received two chemo treatments at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, according to family members. However, when Noah’s mother and father took him out of state seeking a second opinion, they were stopped in Kentucky by law enforcement.
Shortly after, they lost custody of their son.
Noah’s parents wanted to treat him with something other than what doctors recommended. They told 8 On Your Side the chemo would be too tough on Noah’s body.
A Hillsborough County judge then ruled on May 8 that 3-year-old Noah McAdams must undergo chemo within the following 28 days as he continues to fight his cancer diagnosis.
Noah underwent a round of chemotherapy on May 10, against his parent’s wishes.
Closing arguments happened over two weeks ago in the trial for the leukemia-stricken boy’s parents.
As Judge Thomas Palermo made his final ruling, he expressed “Noah McAdams is at substantial risk of imminent death by his parents.”
One of the testimonies given, which was critical in his decision, was made by a doctor which allowed for the understanding of the cancer Noah has and the necessary treatment needed. He said the chemotherapy needed for Noah’s cancer has a “90 to 95 percent success rate with a protocol that is half a century old.”
Palermo also stated in part to the parent’s desires to use natural remedies as the cure, “there was absolutely no evidence presented at the dependency trial that any alternative therapy offered any actual effective treatment for Noah McAdams’ cancer.”
When it came time to discuss the main issue over custody of Noah, Palermo stated, “The court is convinced that if given an opportunity, the parents would flee again with Noah McAdams and refuse to provide him with his necessary medical treatments.”
In order for Noah to return to his parents, they must receive the approval of both the guardian ad litem and Noah McAdam’s attorney ad litem. Plus, the court may submit the parent(s) to a mental examination by qualified professionals, according to Palermo.
Palermo said the parties involved have 30 days to appeal.
- April 29: 3-year-old Tampa boy in need of ‘lifesaving medical care’ found with parents in Kentucky
- May 1: Hillsborough parents fighting to get sick son back after removing him from hospital
- May 2: Hillsborough 3-year-old to stay with grandparents as medical custody fight continues
- May 5: Parents protest for medical custody of 3-year-old with leukemia
- May 6: Emergency hearing scheduled regarding Hillsborough toddler at center of medical custody battle
- May 7: Chemo or Cannabis: Should Tampa toddler with leukemia be forced to take chemo?
- May 7: No decision reached today for Hillsborough toddler at center of medical custody battle
- May 8: Judge rules Hillsborough toddler must get chemo within next 28 days
- May 8: Custody battle continues for parents who kept son from getting chemotherapy
- May 9: Tampa toddler will get court-ordered chemo treatment
- May 10: Hillsborough County boy, 3, gets chemo treatment after parents refused
- May 20: Hearing held for Tampa boy at center of chemo court battle
- June 12: Parents back in court as custody battle continues
- June 26: Parents of cancer-stricken boy in Tampa get victory in court
- Aug. 19: Custody trial for Tampa toddler taken from parents during cancer battle underway
- Aug. 19: As Noah McAdams’ custody trial begins, Moffitt experts say timing was key in child’s treatment
- Aug. 20: Parents fighting for custody of son diagnosed with cancer after refusing chemo in Tampa
- Aug. 20: Noah McAdams’ mom: Family was ‘looking for alternative treatments’ to chemo
- Aug. 25: Waiting for the verdict in Noah McAdams’ custody trial, Moffitt experts say timing was key in child’s treatment
- Sept. 8: Parents of Noah McAdams eagerly await judge’s ruling on separation