'American Idol' Alum Says Her Son Was 'Legally Kidnapped'

American Idol alum Syesha Mercado, the third-place runner-up of Season 7 fame, has taken to social media for help in reuniting with her 15-month-old son Amen'Ra after he was "legally kidnapped" by the system. The 34-year-old shared a heartbreaking video to her Instagram four days ago revealing her son was taken from her by Child Protective Services on March 11 under false claims and "racially charged" questioning. Helping to raise awareness of the "legalized kidnapping of Black babies through CPS," she has also set up a GoFundMe to aid in legal fees.

"Ra was transitioning from extended breastfeeding to the bottle," the Broadway's Dreamgirls star wrote. "My son was placed in a White foster home bypassing our qualified relatives for placement. THIS IS LEGALIZED KIDNAPPING!" Further sharing how a police officer at the time told her it would be "just one night," the traumatizing ordeal has turned into more than 53 days. "There are literally NO words that can express how I have to relive that day, every day. Every moment leading up to the decision to take him to the hospital. THAT specific hospital," she said. "Black Women are so unprotected in this system. And I refuse to be silent and allow this to happen to another Black Woman or Child."

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Per the GoFundMe, which is currently set at a goal of $50,000 and has raised more than $7,300 at the time of this publication, Mercado writes she initially went to the hospital this past March to get her son Amen'Ra some fluids while he was transitioning from extended breastfeeding to the bottle-fed method. On that day, she states her son was "forcefully and legally" kidnapped from her and her partner, Tyron — an educator and youth service professional working in the foster system — by CPS.

"[They] claim we refused a B12 shot that was a matter of life and death, which is an absolute lie," she wrote. "We never refused a B12 shot, and at no point was he on the verge of death. Our Sun (sic) has since been placed with a white foster family without interviewing qualified relatives or friends of our family for placement while they investigate. We are given limited information and presently only have weekly Zoom visitation for an hour with our sun (sic), with no court order stating these visitation limitations."

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Vowing that she with "FIGHT BACK" against the racial disproportionality and hold those responsible accountable, Mercado writes her son should have never been taken from her and Tyron. "I refuse to let our story go unheard and unseen," she wrote. "We have hired a lawyer and started a campaign to help with our mounting legal fees, necessary expenses for medical specialists, and team members that will help us fight back," she wrote, adding how it will be an immense feat to fight against the U.S. foster care system. "To stand up against this system and its way of thinking [and] laws steeped in colonial times, we need your support."

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"We know our Sun (sic) is Strong and Protected by so much Light and Prayer, and hope our situation will help to bring urgent attention and calls for accountability to the increasing incidence of racial and cultural discrimination in the foster care system, and the trauma it creates within our community and within our homes," she wrote.

For ways to help Mercado, head to her GoFundMe and learn more about racial disproportionality in child welfare at the U.S. government's website here.