LIMA — The custody fight over a little girl has brought together the NAACP and a Lima family.
Marley Gant is almost two years old. When she was born, her mother, Alisabeth Brady, was incarcerated, along with her father, Marcus Gant, for human trafficking.
The mother, after giving birth to the child at Lima Memorial Health Systems, wanted custody of Marley to go to Gina Gant, Marcus’ mother.
But that didn’t happen. Instead, Allen County Children Services placed the child with a foster family in the Mendon area.
On Saturday, relatives of the girl held a news conference with the Lima NAACP at Grace Church Worldwide Ministries to let the public know what happened.
The grandmother of Marley, Gina Gant, is on disability, but other family members want to step in and help raise the child.
“The system is broken. We need to fix it. We intend to continue this fight. we are going to place a complaint against CPS and the supervisors and caseworkers of ACCPS to investigate unprofessional conduct, withholding evidence, civil rights violations, inappropriate handling of personal information, and breach of procedure and policy violation with the social workers ethics board. We have already launched a complaint with the county commissioners and are waiting for an official report from them,” said Catherine Munday, the aunt of Marley Gant.
In response to the news conference, Allen County Children Services issued a statement:
“Placement of children who have either been abused or neglected is one of the most difficult tasks in child welfare. The relatives and foster caregivers that support, nurture and heal these children are extraordinary. Multiple requirements and considerations are involved in placement decisions. Once these considerations and requirements have been reviewed with the Prosecutor’s office, placement options are explored and presented to the Court.
“One thing that is certain: children fare better with increased supports and people who love and care about them in their lives. We have and will continue to facilitate these connections for the children and families that we serve.
“To respect and protect the privacy of the families and children we serve, we abide by statutory confidentiality requirements and may not comment with specific case information.”
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.