Amber Portwood Speaks Out After Losing Custody of Son; Says She’s “Heartbroken” & Daughter Leah Is “Devastated” Over Judge’s Decision

“Andrew should be in gel for this!”

Amber Portwood is breaking her silence after news broke that she has lost legal custody of her four-year-old son James and that a judge ruled the boy could be moved to California by his dad, Andrew Glennon.

Amber defended herself in a series of Instagram comments posted on Wednesday before finally releasing a statement via Instagram on Thursday. She also revealed how her 13-year-old daughter Leah (whom she shares with Gary Shirley) is dealing with the decision that allows her half-brother to move across the country from her.

As The Ashley previously reported, a judge ruled earlier this month that Andrew would be allowed to move James to California, where Andrew lived before meeting Amber.

Although Amber fought Andrew’s relocation proposal and abided by all of her probation requirements, the judge decided that James could be moved. Andrew was given sole legal and primary physical custody of the boy, but Amber would have visitation taking place in both California and her home state of Indiana.

After the @TeenMomFanz Instagram page posted about the judge’s decision, Amber defended herself against her haters, who criticized Amber’s parenting of Leah. She revealed that Leah— who is very close to James— is heartbroken that he is leaving.

“Me and Leah have an amazing relationship today and she is devastated. STOP!” Amber told one person.

“I did every single thing I needed to do including therapy every single week and also medication adjustment. I was and still [am] stable mentally for years now,” Amber told another commenter. “…this is tragic and my son is the one suffering the most when our lives are torn apart. 

“…I will not be nice about this situation anymore because none of this is OK,” she continued. “If you change and are stable and have proven your stability than that matters. This is a loss for all mothers who change for peace and love in their children’s lives…and just so it can be ripped away after years of fighting for something.”

Amber claimed that James— who Amber previously had three non-overnight visits a week with–is going to be confused by the new custody arrangement and relocation.

“That boy absolutely adores me and I have built beautiful relationships with my children today and am very present in their lives,” Amber argued. “This is not a win for my son at all. I pray for him and the sadness and confusion he will have.” 

Andrew has remained relatively silent about the decision, except to tell E! News, “we endured the nightmare, now we get to live the dream.”

“See ya in Cali, Portwood! Time to go live with my Mommy!”

In her statement posted to Instagram on Thursday, Amber likened the situation to a nightmare and stated that she’s “devastated and heartbroken by this outcome.”

“[I’ll] never stop fighting for my children who I love more than anything,” she wrote. “I’ve been living in a nightmare for so long trying to prove myself. I wouldn’t wish this unbearable pain on any mother or father.”

“I’ve worked so hard to better myself and improve my relationships with my children,” she said earlier in the statement. “…I’ve spent years rebuilding my bridges and did everything that was required of me, including completing 21 negative drug tests and multiple psychological evaluations.” 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Amber Leann Portwood (@realamberlportwood1__)

As The Ashley previously reported, Amber will be required to fly to California every other month to get her visitation with James. (Andrew is responsible for bringing James to Indiana on the alternating months for visits.) The new custody plan will be rolled out in phases to help James adjust, with Amber getting overnight visits with the boy for the first time since 2019. 

The Sun reported on Thursday that the judge stated that she took several things into consideration when making her ruling. According to court paperwork obtained by the outlet, the judge wrote that Amber had been having a ex-gang member bring her marijuana and pain pills during her pregnancy with James. She stated that Amber admitted to using marijuana during her pregnancy, and that James was born with THC in his system. 

“A DCS investigation was initiated after the birth of the child. A CHINS [Child In Need of Services] case was never opened,” the documents stated, according to The Sun.

After Amber posted her statement on Instagram, she received some encouraging words from her ‘Teen Mom OG’ co-star, Catelynn Lowell.

“I love you. I’m so sorry that this is happening and SO undeserved,” she wrote in the comment section of Amber’s post. “He needs you in his life and what they decided is so wrong on so many levels…YOU kno ur truth and all the hard work you have done. DON’T let ANYONE make you think differently. I’m here for you always and forever.” 

Former ‘Teen Mom OG’ cast member Mackenzie McKee also sent Amber encouraging words.

“My love to you sweet Amber, everyone deserves the grace of a second chance,” Mackenzie wrote in the comment section. “Especially when they put in the hard work of changing and we’ve all seen you put that work in. We know you love your kids and this is completely unfair. Don’t give up. You are a queen and there are better days ahead. I am rooting for you.”

It is unknown if Amber’s custody court battle will be covered in the upcoming season of Teen Mom: The Next Chapter

RELATED STORY: ‘Teen Mom OG’ Star Amber Portwood Ordered To Pay $52k in Back Child Support; Judge Rules Her Ex Andrew Glennon Can Move Their Son To California

(Photos: Instagram: MTV)


  1. Oh.boohoo Amber. You have tried? Bitch where. You missed 59 of 104 scheduled visits with James. You couldn’t bother to remove your ass from the couch and/bed long enough to show up. You just had to show up. And Leah has made it perfectly clear that Kristin is her mother because you couldn’t show up for her either. All you have ever cared about is chasing dick and drugs. You deserve every bit of this because James AND Leah deserve better than you! Never thought I would say this , but Matt sure dodged a damn bullet getting away from her!

  2. If she can’t make her visitations because of bad weather when it sprinkles, how the hell is she going to deal with flying over the Rockies in winter? Wave bye-bye to Amber, James. She’ll get bored in a couple of months and stop making trips.

  3. We have all seen how Amber “parents”. She makes excuses constantly not to see her children. This arrangement is probably for the best. Andrew can go live in his mom’s $5 million dollar mansion and move out of Amber’s old house. Amber, making $600k a year with no real job, has plenty of money and time to fly out and see her son every month. She can continue to sit on her couch at home and maybe work on her schoolwork (assuming she’s still in school).

    1. I miss Matt. Like he was horribly toxic, blah, blah. It’s good she’s now safe. 🙄 🙄 🙄 But man Amber is boring without him.

      Also, we can all agree. Matt was the one raising Leah when she would go over there, right?!?

  4. Amber needs to realize that her past actions WILL come back in her time and time again in the future. She is still not accepting responsibility for her actions and blaming this on everybody but herself. Yes, it is sad for her that it has come to this. She believes she can try for 2 or 3 years and it’s “all better!” It’s not. What SHE has done impacted many people. This was the best decision.

    1. I believe her missed visits is why they are letting Andrew take him to another state. No reason to trap him in IN when she doesn’t show up.

  5. “that boy”

    Yep she’s a caring mother. So much she put all her needs first and didn’t change to get custody.

  6. She’s only heartbroken because she’s embarrassed that she lost in court. She doesn’t care about those kids.

  7. She Doenst give a damn about those kids except how to use them for money. She is STILL unstable entitled and frankly violent, just because she switched to medically prescribed medications Doenst mean she isn’t still OVER dosing herself. She’s a lunatic and I hope leah is smart enough to stay away as much as possible. Thankfully James father cares more about him than a tv paycheck ( looking at YOU Gary)

  8. Ambie is not a mother….never has been……never will be. Except to her couch that she truly loves.Proof is her repeated missed visits with her son and her miserable track record with both children she birthed. Her “mothering” stopped there. And shut up Cate…’re comments are ridiculous.

  9. And Cate comments out of all people?! The woman whose fans still bash Brandon and Theresa as if they “stole” Carly from her and Tyler?! Give me a break.

  10. With her income she can afford to fly out to California and visit as often as she wants. It’s not like she has a job or anything

  11. So heartbroken she’s done absolutely nothing to get him (or Leah) back. She’s a piece of shit. Both those kids are better off as far away from her as possible. To even call her a mom is a joke.

  12. I absolutely hate Amber but I have no idea if this is a good thing or not..
    What happens when he starts school?
    Or when he’s old enough to want to start hanging out with friends at the weekend but instead has to get on a plane across the country?
    She’s an irresponsible piece of shit, and the arrangement now goes from her never having him over night (and probs just hangs out at Gary’s) to him having to stay over night at her house for however long (a week?) no where near home.
    And it’s all wasted money that could be saved for this little boys future, poor thing! I mean, it’s not like he’ll have college savings from being on Teen Mom like Leah

    1. Honestly, I think James going to California is going to be a good thing. Like he won’t be disappointed like Leah for Amber just not showing up. Like he can just be like oh my mom she lives in Indiana that’s why I don’t see her.

      I said it in the last post too. This judge must not have kids, because even Phase One – Three is impractical.

      Phase one is three days OVERNIGHT every other month. So Andrew has to fly James out there on a Friday morning, She’s with him Fri-Sun. Then Andrew gets him up at four am to fly back to CA to go to school. I mean okay his four years old now, so I guess he will miss maybe 2-3 days of school every couple of months fine. But what happens when he’s 10 how’s this going to work.

      Also, Phase 2 is she gets him for a whole week every other month. So every other month Andrew has to fly James out to IN miss a whole week of school. If Andrew gets a job, how is going to explain to his boss that every other month he needs to get the whole week off or WFH.

      Then Phase 3 is back to Indiana state parenting Guidelines. I looked it up its She gets every other weekend Friday 6PM – Sun 6 PM, plus one evening per week, they suggest Wednesday, for up to fours but capped at 9PM.

      Like how is that going to work. Andrew has to fly out to IN every other weekend, and Also fly back out on Wednesday. Like huh?

      But honestly Amber missed more than half of her visits when she lived in the same town as James. So I really don’t expect Amber to wake up at 8 AM get on an airplane, fly to Malibu spend 3 days with James and fly back. Also, don’t expect Amber to wake up before 3 pm. So I don’t think this will make it past Phase one, and then Andrew reapplies for change in custody and files in CA. Pretty much just saying if she wants to see him he’s in Califonia, come see him every other month if you want. And she will never do it.

      I think your right she barely knows who Amber is. She hasn’t been an active parent in his life. I can imagine bed time will be hard because he’s going to want Dad. I can imagine morning being hard because we all know Amber stays up all night and doesn’t wake up until 3.

      1. He isn’t in school – he is four but his birthday misses the California cut off to get into TK/preK to start this academic year he will enter K next academic year.

        He may be in daycare but it doesn’t matter as much to miss the odd day here and there for that.

        Once he starts school typically kids do school year with one parent and vacation with the other. I had friends that had an international custody agreement and this is how they do it

  13. Another pos mother who had a baby born with drugs in their system. She’s just as bad as Jenelle…

  14. Cate STFU….

    no, it’s completely deserved…

    If people make her feel differently then maybe she’ll finally get her sh*t together.

  15. Is Leah devasted because you dump James over at Gary’s house when you were suppose to watch him? But I mean she only showed up for half of her visits.

    So if Amber fulfills her end of the new custody agreement, Leah will see James just as she saw him before. She will have him in Indiana every other month for three days, okay take James to see his sister then.

    Or maybe Gary would be willing to let Amber take Leah California… oh wait he wouldn’t because he doesn’t trust her and she’s not stable. Yeah…. funny. But she’s a damn good mom.

  16. Do you people remember Kelly Rutherford? The same kind of unjust decision happened to her and her children live in Monaco. That blew my mind. Never forgot it.

    1. That case was a little more complicated.

      She refused to tell her husband and FATHER when he was born or put his name on the birth certificate.

      He had to petition the courts, and take a DNA. I think he proved parent alienation.

      And she had his US visa revoked, so he couldn’t come to see them in the US. So a California court said, well she can come to Monaco, he can’t see them in the US. So they live with him and she has joint custody and she can see them as much as she want in Monaco.

    2. That was not exactly unjust. She was found to have gone to great lengths to alienate the father from the kids. And she really screwed herself by trying to keep the kids once her time was up. They were in the US visiting her all summer and she refused to return them. Now, they can’t come back at all and she has to see them in Monaco. She did that to herself.

  17. So that poor kid has to travel across the country 6 times a year? Also, I dont give a **** about amber or andrew. She’s been a shit mom to her kids the majority of the time and he is an opportunist predator. Neither of them should have any kids. As always, it’s the kids that suffer and the parents that make themselves the victims.

  18. Let’s all not forget Ambers recent BLOCKBUSTER novel that she released this year. I mean, damnnnnnn girl. The revelations in there, told by AMBER herself, made her look absolutely awful!

    She bought the shovel, and then dug her own deep hole. Self-destructive, and then shocked when all the shit falls on top of her.

    Another fresh start I guess? Focus on the best way to parent your two children with the cards you now have dealt to you. Don’t give up because its too hard. DO BETTER!

  19. Amber fails to mention that she missed 59 out of 104 scheduled visits with James. She hasn’t done everything she can. She hasn’t even done half of what she could have. I’m so glad that little boy isn’t living with her crazy ass.

    1. Literally about to comment the same thing.

      She used the word “stable” multiple times to describe herself. How would missing half your visitations make you stable?

      And tried to use excuses like the weather, when it was just raining. Funny, my car drives just fine in the rain.

  20. 50 missed visits though. FIFTY.
    I’ve always had a soft spot for Amber, but she just doesn’t have it in her to be a parent.

    And as for California, sorry but Andrew was stuck in Indiana for years, why shouldn’t he have a turn to live & have James live where he’s from, & where his family is? Why should he and James be forced to stay in Indiana forever where they don’t know anyone except Amber and her few relatives? That’s not fair.

    1. Right! He was stuck in Indiana and Amber wasn’t even seeing James when she could and he was minutes away! Like she’s really gonna go to California every other month to see him, I’ll believe it when I see it!

  21. Amber is NOT mentally stable, she still acts like a nut job when she does any IG lives. She chased Andrew with a machete while he was holding James. She repeatedly punched Andrew while he was holding James. She threw objects at Andrew while he was holding James. Does that sound like a mother who loves her children so much? If James was my child she would never get the chance to put him in danger again. Giving birth does not make you a mother. She missed many visits with James. She chose men over Leah and missed many visits with her. She is probably concerned that she won’t have a storyline on Teen Mom. Or that when she travels to see James she might actually have to be present and won’t have Gary & Kristina watching James.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.