American Idol's Syesha Mercado's Son Is Returned Home After 7 Months in Foster Care

American Idol alum Syesha Mercado has been reunited with her toddler son, Amen'Ra, seven months after child protective services removed him from her and her partner's care.

By Corinne Heller Oct 06, 2021 9:46 PMTags
Watch: "American Idol" Alum Syesha Mercado Loses Custody of Her Newborn

UPDATE: American Idol alum Syesha Mercado and her partner Tyron Deener's 20-month-old son, Amen'Ra, returned home to be with his parents about seven months after he was taken away by child protective services and put in foster care amid allegations of "abuse and neglect," accusations the couple denied.

On Oct. 1, Mercado shared on Instagram a video of Amen'Ra riding home with her and Deener and playing Peek-a-Boo and clapping inside the vehicle.

"It's a great moment to have Ra physically back with us but it's not over with," Deener said. "We gotta deal with six months of supervision, of the state coming to our home every week for the next six months to show that we're competent and able to raise our own baby."

Mercado and Deener had been allowed to visit their son while he was in foster care. The couple received more than $465,000 in GoFundMe donation pledges over the past few months to help bring their boy home.

"Our son is exactly where he needs to be," Mercado said in a video posted on Tuesday, Oct. 5. "He's home. He never should have been taken in the first place."


American Idol alum Syesha Mercado has been reunited with her newborn daughter, Ast, more than a week after sheriff's deputies took away the baby, her second, during a surprise welfare check.

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The news also comes as the singer, a finalist on the show's seventh season in 2008, and her partner Tyron Deener, continue to work to regain custody of their 18-month-old son, Amen'Ra. On Friday, Aug. 20, Mercado shared an Instagram Live video of her reunion with her daughter. The clip showed her smiling while sitting behind the wheel of a car with Deener and baby Ast, who sleeps in a baby carrier.

"Ast is home," Deener says. "We have Ast with us."

He continued, "This just happened and we're heading home. We have our baby back, our newborn and we're just going to focus on getting those moments these couple of days, this week that we've been without her, focus on getting that time back. But we still got some work to do with getting Ra back."

Reps for the Florida Department of Children and Families, the Manatee County, Florida Sheriff's Office and the couple's attorneys had no immediate comment when reached by E! News.

In a statement to E! News, attorney Ben Crump said, "Syesha and Tyron are being deprived of formative moments of their children's lives–moments that they will never be able to get back like witnessing their two children meet for the first time. There is no doubt in my mind that if this were a white family, DCF employees would have never questioned them or intervened. The cruelty, inhumanity, and bias that this family is suffering at the hands of DCF—the state agency in charge of children's welfare—is beyond alarming. We will continue to elevate this family's story and put pressure on DCF to reunite those precious babies with their loving parents."

Last week, Mercado broadcast an Instagram Live video showing sheriff's deputies surrounding her and Deener's car on the side of a road and telling her to surrender Ast. After pumping a couple ounces of breast milk in the back of her car into a bottle, the singer complies, sobbing, "How could you guys do this? Do you not feel anything? My baby is days old and you're taking my baby away from me."

The incident involving the then-10-day-old girl took place five months after the couple's toddler son was placed in the custody of child protective services. Mercado had said on social media that she had taken Amen'Ra to a hospital "to get extra fluids since he was resisting to drink the necessary fluids we were giving him," adding that he was weaning from extended breast feeding."

The singer said, "They accused me of Abuse and Neglect. And specified Medical Neglect." Mercado said she and Deener were also accused of refusing to have their son receive a B12 shot, a claim she said was untrue.

A Manatee County Sheriff's Office rep told E! News last week that the department received information through an abuse hotline about a child at a hospital "who was suffering from severe malnutrition/failure to thrive." The rep said a judge ordered Amen'Ra to be sheltered and receive treatment but that "the parents refused to cooperate." The rep also said a family court judge ordered officers to "pick-up" the family's newborn daughter.

"We still got work to do to get Ra back," Deener said on Instagram Live on Friday. "But we want to say thank you. Because of ya'll and my family, we've had the proper support to get the best attorneys in the country to be able to bring justice."

He added, "We respect the process, we respect the courts, we respect everybody's position but wrong is wrong. But we got Ast back and soon, Ra will be home. I know that because we got the support of the people."

Mercado, whose family's custody struggle has spurred a crowdfunding effort to get her son home, captioned the video, "AST IS HOME!!!! #BringRaHome POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!!!!!"

(This story was originally published on Aug. 21 at 9:27 a.m. PT)

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