Shortly after Amber Portwood was arrested for domestic violence this month, our staff members debated a seemingly important question as it related to the Teen Mom OG star:
We asked this same question to our readers as well.
You can see those results HERE.
Now, however, we're being forced to confront an actually important question:
Should Amber Portwood actually lose custody of her 14-month old son?
This topic is pertinent because new details have emerged in regard to Amber's arrest; namely that she's accused of wielding a machete while trying to break into her home's bathroom in order to continue her (alleged) attack against boyfriend Andrew Glennon...
... who was holding the couple's child, James, in his arms at the time.
Glennon feared his life and his toddler's life were both in danger and he has since filed for full custody of James.
So this question isn't some hypothetical. It's an issue that will soon be taken up by a judge in court.
Before the first custody hearing takes place, however, we've posed the above question - Should Amber Portwood Lose Custody of Her 14-month Old Son? - to our writers and reporters and we've shared their responses below...
YES by Tyler Johnson
Yes, Amber Portwood deserves to lose custody of her child.
I’m aware that she’s battled mental illness and many who are close to the troubled Teen Mom OG star swear they’ve witnessed considerable improvement in recent years.
But assaulting your significant other with a deadly weapon would be a dealbreaker even if it were the first time that Amber had ever engaged in this sort of behavior.
We know it’s not, of course, as Portwood’s violent tendencies have resulted in numerous brushes with the law over the years.
It’s always a sad thing when a child is taken away from his mother.
However, for the time being, at least, Amber’s mental state has rendered her incapable of providing a safe and stable environment for any child.
Hopefully, Andrew Glennon will be reasonable and allow his ex regular visits with her son.
But whatever the case, Amber clearly has a long way to go before she’s capable of being a full-time parent again.
NO by Free Britney
Jenelle Evans has custody of her kids, so how can Amber not?
On second thought, that doesn’t make any sense and isn’t a good example at all. Changing my position. Please hold.
YES by Free Britney
Anytime a person’s partner calls 911 to report a machete-wielding maniac, children probably shouldn’t be exposed to such an environment for the foreseeable future.
YES by Simon Delott
I know that Amber has people on her side.
Some fans think that a child's place is with their mother, no matter what -- and they aren't kidding about that last part.
They may argue that she'll "learn her lesson," whatever that means, after this Andrew Glennon incident.
My question, though, is this:
What lesson could this possibly teach that Amber could not have learned from her previous criminal history, which included actual time served in jail?
Amber had her chance to learn. She apparently didn't glean much from it. Why throw away another chance on her?
Especially because this isn't about whether or not she deserves the happiness of motherhood or whatever.
This is about what is best for baby James, who deserves his best shot in life.
Someone who allegedly beats and batters their loved one while that loved one is holding a child is not a fit parent -- or a good parent.
Sometimes, the best way to escape from vicious cycles that get passed down in families is just to escape from toxic members of the family itself.
James deserves a real life in a safe and loving environment. That's what matters.
NO by Hilton Hater
I base my answer around this literal question: Should Portwood lose custody of James? As in: Should she permanently lose custody of her very young son?
This is not some casual topic about which one should speculate or ruminate based on a few celebrity gossip website headlines.
This may seem obvious to state, but it's a really huge deal to take a child away from his or her biological mother. Such a legal decision can only be made under the most dire or extreme circumstances.
My colleagues above all argue that allegedly using a giant sword as part of an attack against one's significant other, with one's infant kid very much caught up in the middle, would qualify as dire or extreme.
But I have two counters here:
1. Portwood has been diagnosed as bipolar.
2. She has no history of violence against her kids.
Following her latest arrest, you tell us: Should Amber Portwood lose custody of her young son? View Poll »
Both of these points are relevant when talking about the extreme step of stripping her custody away entirely.
Yes, she needs to go to therapy. Yes, she probably needs to go to jail. Yes, she must share custody with Glennon.
And, yes, she absolutely needs to be fired from Teen Mom so she no longer faces the pressure of answering to fans or cameramen.
I'm by no means advocating to simply shrug off this arrest or the incident that preceded it.
I'm simply sharing the compromises available in this situation, the alternative ways in which James can be kept safe... Amber can receive the help she clearly needs... and yet she can do so while remaining an integral part of her son's life.
Because, let's face it, it's easy to read a few articles, leap up on to a soapbox and proclaim that Portwood should stay as far away from her kid as possible.
But it's a lot harder to put this opinion into practice -- as it should be.
There's a reason why judges are the ones who must make these very difficult decision, not content creators who sit at home all day and think they know best.
No offense, fellas. I still love you.