International custody battle leaves Va. mom scrambling

A Virginia mom is scrambling with what to do. She claims a judge is threatening to lock her up and possibly put her son in foster care, if she doesn't take her son to Africa to visit with the child's father.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - A Virginia mom is scrambling with what to do. She claims a judge is threatening to lock her up and possibly put her son in foster care, if she does not take her son to Africa to visit with the toddler’s father.

She has two weeks.

"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,” said an emotional Rebekah Frimpong.

She said she's terrified she may lose her son because she can't afford the travel or even get the vaccinations needed to take her son to Ghana for at least a month. It’s something she said a Virginia judge ordered her to do so 2-year-old Solomon can visit with his father.

If not, Frimpong teold WUSA9 the Virginia judge overseeing her case will hold her in contempt of court.

"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,” said Frimpong who also added, she does not have a job there.

Frimpong said she is a single mother, a grad student and a receptionist who also claims, Solomon's father was not in the picture until she sought custody and child support about year ago.

The child's father has a lawyer and was originally supposed to pay travel expenses, according to a court documents, but Frimpong said the attorney would not work with her. The judge, she also says, believes Frimpong is not cooperating.

"Because I don't have a lawyer, I'm not allowed to be heard,” the Arlington mom said.

WUSA9 reached out to the father's attorney. Laura C. Dove replied, “Matters before the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court are confidential and I cannot comment on the case. Thank you for your understanding.”

The Arlington mom said she lived in Ghana for a short time, but says now her life is here. She also says her son 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 being allowed to set up the safe precautions for that child,” said Frimpong, before looking down and letting out an emotional sigh.

The Virginia mother claims the judge overseeing her case won’t even allow her to use the social site, GoFundMe, to raise money.

A Virginia Juvenile Court Clerk says they cannot comment but did confirm a Contempt Hearing is scheduled for Dec. 15th.


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