This is a very strange story.
A state lawmaker and his wife are to face their former maid in a Houston court today in a battle over custody of the woman's 20-month-old son.
State Rep. Talmadge Heflin and his wife, Janice, contend that they have cared for the boy since shortly after his birth, according to court documents.
The parents, however, say there is no reason he should be taken away. Mariam Katamba and Fidel Odimara argue that Heflin, a Houston Republican who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, is using his "political position to threaten" them.
The Heflins say the boy has spent most of his life with them and that they "are the only care-givers the child has known," court papers show. They also argue that the parents might endanger the boy and "have shown little or no interest in the child since birth."
The parents said Tuesday they provided for and took care of the child, including staying with him during a two-month hospital stay, while the Heflins visited once.
Katamba, a native of Uganda who lived with and worked for the Heflins, said Janice Heflin later offered to baby-sit the boy after Katamba found another job. Katamba said she never wanted to give him up.
"They always take my child to Austin, Texas, whenever I am off," Katamba stated in an affidavit. "When I protested about their denying me my child, they then brought the (lawsuit)."