Boy With Cancer Must Remain With Grandparents Because Parents Refused Chemo: Judge

Florida parents who refused chemo treatment for their son will not regain custody, a judge ruled.
Joshua McAdams and Taylor Bland-Ball had fled Florida but were forced to return. Handouts

A Florida judge has ruled that a 4-year-old boy with cancer must remain with his grandparents because he faces "imminent risk of neglect" with his parents, who denied him chemo treatment.

Joshua McAdams and Taylor Bland-Ball are now required to undergo psychological evaluations to determine if they may be reunited with their son, who is battling leukemia. If they don't, they risk losing custody, according to the judge's decision issued Monday.

"Parents have a fundamental right to parent their child, but that is not one without limits," Judge Thomas Palermo said as he issued his decision, the Tampa Bay Times reported. 

The parents' legal battle began in April, when little Noah was diagnosed. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office put out an endangered child alert after the child missed several chemo appointments. The family couldn't be immediately located, but they were later found in Kentucky, where his parents were treating him with natural remedies including CBD oil, authorities said.

Child welfare officials got a court order to remove Noah from his parents and place him in the care of his maternal grandmother, who resumed his chemo treatments.

His parents have repeatedly fought in court to regain custody of Noah, whom they want to treat with herbal medicines, cannabis products and an alkaline diet, they said. At a hearing, a lawyer for the parents said they might continue chemo as well, though the court did not believe the parents.

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