Inside The Eternal Battle For Little Wiley On General Hospital

Though Wiley Quartermaine Corinthos was only born in 2018, there has already been a tremendous amount of drama in his life. As if being part of one of the most confusing baby swaps on "General Hospital" wasn't complicated enough, the little boy has been caught in a tug-of-war between his various family members basically since his conception.

Michael Quartermaine Corinthos (Chad Duell) and Nelle Benson (Chloe Lanier) had already broken up by the time Nelle was due to give birth to their baby (via Soap Central). In fact, the entire town of Port Charles had come to realize that she was a dangerous sociopath and Michael's two prominent families were determined to keep the baby away from her. That changed when Nelle showed up at the hospital with her stillborn son Jonah, having given birth to him in the woods following a car accident where she had left Michael to die. However, the truth was that Nelle had delivered a healthy baby boy whom she had then switched with Brad Cooper and Lucas Jones' adopted son Wiley, who had tragically died from SIDS shortly after his birth.

When the truth about the baby swap was revealed a year later, Wiley's birth family immediately began battling over him. However, fighting over custody of the little boy began before anyone even knew his true identity.

Willow and Shiloh fought over the baby they thought was theirs

Willow Tait, played by Katelyn MacMullen, met Michael Corinthos shortly after arriving in Port Charles (via Soaps in Depth). He was struggling with the stillbirth of his son Jonah, and Willow was dealing with the loss of her own baby that she'd given up for adoption. Little did the two know, they were grieving the same child.

After giving up her baby, Willow briefly considered taking her son back but was convinced not to by Julian Jerome (William DeVry), though he was only trying to ensure that his son would get to adopt the baby. When it became public knowledge that Willow was the biological mother of Brad Cooper and Lucas Jones' son Wiley, she began to get close to the little boy despite the worry from others that she might get too attached. In fact, she even became his nanny for a time.

Eventually, Willow admitted that she had been impregnated by Dawn of Day cult leader Hank "Shiloh" Archer (Coby Ryan McLaughlin) and that she'd given her baby up to protect him from his dangerous father. Though everyone around him tried to safeguard Wiley from Shiloh, the diabolical man discovered that Willow had given birth to his baby so he took her to court to gain access to the adoption records (via Soaps). After discovering that Wiley was his son, Shiloh briefly kidnapped the little boy before one of his cult victims, Sam McCall (Kelly Monaco), was able to rescue the baby. Sam then killed Shiloh in self-defense and he died never knowing that Wiley had been switched with another baby and that his biological son was dead.

Nelle tried to kidnap Wiley

In early 2020, Nelle was released from prison after serving time for attempted murder (via Celebrating the Soaps). She immediately went to Brad Cooper's home so she could see her son. He was temporarily raising the boy alone since his husband, Lucas Jones, was in a coma following a car accident that occurred just after Brad had confessed the baby swap to him. She chastised the man for naming Michael (who was Lucas' nephew) as the baby's godfather and for allowing Willow to be the boy's nanny. She was concerned that either of them could figure out that Wiley was her and Michael's biological child and not Willow's. Secretly, she was also planning to take back her son.

Eventually Lucas woke up from his coma and Brad was relieved when the man had no memory of his confession, since he had decided to keep Wiley's true identity a secret (via SoapDirt). When Brad told Nelle that he and Lucas planned to move to Oregon to raise Wiley away from prying eyes and meddling family, she obtained fake passports for her and Wiley and was prepared to kidnap him and flee town.

On the night of Brad and Lucas' going away party, Nelle went to Willow's apartment where she was babysitting Wiley and knocked the woman out. Before she could leave with her son, however, Michael and his friend Harrison Chase (Josh Swickward) showed up to stop her. They revealed that Lucas had regained his memory at the party and remembered Brad's confession about the baby swap (via Michael Fairman TV). Detective Chase then arrested Nelle, and Michael was reunited with the son she had let him grieve for.

Michael and Nelle battled in court over custody of Wiley

After Nelle Benson concocted a scheme to make evidence in her case disappear, the charges against her were dropped. Meanwhile, Brad Cooper was being sent to prison for his part in the baby swap. Now a free woman, Nelle and Michael Corinthos immediately went to war regarding custody over Wiley (via Soaps in Depth).

Despite Nelle's checkered past, Michael's attorney convinced him that he needed to present himself as the best option for the judge to give custody to, and thus he should have an infallible wife who could be a maternal figure for the little boy. Eventually Michael and Willow Tait agreed to get married in order to bolster their chances of keeping Nelle away from Wiley.

Nelle tried to do the same thing by showing up to court with Julian Jerome, whom she'd blackmailed into marrying her, though her charade didn't work (via Soaps). The judge saw how Michael and Willow had already proven how much they cared about and cared for Wiley and were granted custody. Shortly afterward, Nelle died after arguing with Carly Corinthos (Laura Wright) and falling off a cliffside. Michael and Willow, who had officially adopted Wiley, thought that Nelle's death was the end of any future court battles over Wiley, but they were sadly mistaken.

Michael was blackmailed into letting Nina see Wiley

In early 2021, Nina Reeves (Cynthia Watros) discovered that the late Nelle Benson was the daughter that she had given birth to while in a coma years earlier (via Soaps in Depth). Though she was devastated to find out the identity of her child only after she had died, Nina was comforted by the fact that she now had a biological grandson. Unfortunately, during her first visit with the little boy, Nina told Wiley that Willow wasn't his real mommy, which greatly upset both him and his parents. Michael and Willow then decided that they didn't want Nina around their son (via TV Season Spoilers).

However, Nina's good friend and Michael's ex-step father, Jasper "Jax" Jacks (Ingo Rademacher), decided to step in. He knew that Michael and Willow were sleeping together despite the fact that she was now married to Harrison Chase, and he used that information to blackmail Michael into letting Nina be a part of Wiley's life.

Reluctantly, Michael and Willow allowed Nina to spend time with Wiley, though it didn't last for long. When the truth about Michael and Willow's affair came out, Nina no longer had any leverage over the couple and they reinstated their decision to keep her away from Wiley (via Soap Opera Spy). Not one to back down, Nina decided to seek a more official solution to her problem.

Nina lost her legal right to visitation with Wiley

Nina Reeves discovered that biological grandparents have a legal right to visitation with their grandchildren in the state of New York and she made the decision to take Michael Corinthos and Willow Tait to court to ensure she could spend time with Wiley (via Soaps). However, Nina had recently come under attack from Michael and his family for allowing them to grieve a presumed-dead Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) for six months, when she knew he was alive and well and living nearby with amnesia, per CheatSheet. Thus, Wiley's parents were more determined than ever to keep her away from their son.

During the highly-anticipated visitation hearing, neither side pulled any punches. Nina attempted to paint Michael as violent toward women by bringing up the fact that as a teenager he had accidentally killed his step-mother when he was trying to stop her from kidnapping his baby sister (via Soap Central). Michael, in turn, made sure the court knew about how Nina had kidnapped a pregnant Ava Jerome in 2014, forced her into labor, and then stole her baby. Despite the theatrics, the judge decided in Michael and Willow's favor and Nina was denied a legal right to visitation with Wiley.

Though the hearing is over, there is more drama on the horizon that has the potential to turn the little boy's life upside down once again. Not only is his grandmother Carly Corinthos keeping the secret that Nina and Willow are unknowingly mother and daughter, but it also seems that a newly-pregnant Willow is probably sick with leukemia and Wiley could lose yet another parent (via Soaps in Depth).