Family says newborn grandson was given to 'stranger'

Family says newborn grandson was given to 'stranger'
Published: Oct. 1, 2015 at 12:29 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 8, 2015 at 2:05 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Jacquelyne Holt says just a week ago, she was happily awaiting the birth of her new grandson, but Wednesday she was fighting for custody of the newborn child and planning funeral arrangements for her daughter.

Holt said her daughter, 26-year-old Marquetta McLaren, died after complications from child birth.

"She just didn't make it," Holt said. "She fought. She fought really hard. She just didn't make it."

McLaren didn't file a birth certificate and Holt said she doesn't believe a paternity test was ever done.

[MORE: Parents of abandoned newborn may have violated safe haven law]

When she went to file for custody of the child, she found out another man, Larry Handley, had already done it. Holt said she doesn't know who Handley is.
"They gave my grandson to a stranger," Holt said.

To get custody of a child, a person must have a DNA test or file a request through Child Protective Services. Despite being the emergency contact for the child, Holt said she was never contacted when Handley filed for and received custody of the child.

"I'm still in disbelief," Holt said. "I can't grieve her. I can't go home yet and have her funeral services."

Now, the state has filed a dependency case on Holt's behalf. She doesn't believe Handley is fit to take care for the child and a doctor provided a note saying, "This baby boy is best served by being placed into the home of his maternal grandmother."

Holt wishes her daughter, not her, could be the one taking the boy home.
"She would've been an awesome, awesome mother, and I just hate that she didn't have this opportunity to raise her child," Holt said.

The case's court date is set for Thursday.

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