“Love and Hip Hop: New York” fans were caught between a rock and hard place after Yandy Smith allowed one of her mentees to stay at her home without the consent of the child’s guardians.
Smith introduced viewers to Infinity Gilyard, a teenage girl she’s mentored for the past three years. Smith started the process of legally becoming the young girl’s foster mother in 2018, but during “LHHNY” she was not the child’s legal guardian.
In the Jan. 14 episode, Smith revealed that she had been harboring Gilyard at her house without the permission of the girl’s foster parents or social worker. She told her friend Jonathan Fernandez that the teen had threatened to run away from her foster home. According to Smith, Gilyard told her that she felt unsafe there.
Smith claimed she tried to get in touch with Gilyard’s foster parents, caseworker and attorney, but none of the parties were responding. Fernandez told Smith that it was illegal to harbor a minor without the consent of her guardians. Smith said she had good intentions behind her actions and couldn’t let Gilyard run away from home without having a place to lay her head.
“LHHNY” fans were completely torn over the episode. Some felt Smith was wrong for illegally housing Gilyard, while others felt she was only trying to protect the young girl.
“Yandy know damn well she lyin! She still breaking the law with the lil girl in her home,” one fan tweeted.
Another added, “I understand Yandy trying to help Infinity but laws aren’t always “it was the right thing to do.”
A third viewer wrote, “If I was Yandy I would’ve done the same thing. CPS don’t give a f–k they’ll take a kid out of a good home.”
A fourth added, “I see no wrong with what Yandy did. If them foster parents cared they would have called the police and reporter her missing.”
In August 2018 and apparently some time after the Jan. 14 episode was taped, Smith went from mentor to foster mom when a New York judge granted her approval to start the process of fostering Gilyard. Smith mentored the 10th-grader three years ago with nonprofit organization EGL Partners Uplifting our Daughters. The pair have since been inseparable.
Yandy is trying to do the right thing, but Jonathan let's her know that she's going about it the WRONG WAY! And it could land her in BIG trouble! #LHHNY pic.twitter.com/Pkp7Enlch4
— Love & Hip Hop (@loveandhiphop) January 15, 2019