In 2007, Brenda Barrett had a relationship with mobster Aleksander Janáček. Brenda broke things off with Aleksander when she learned he was involved in an organization that exploited children. Aleksander wouldn't accept the break-up and began stalking Brenda, so she fled to Manhattan to get away from him. In Manhattan, Brenda met Dante Falconeri, who was one of the police guards assigned to protect her. Brenda soon found out that she was pregnant with Aleksander's child. She confided in Dante about her pregnancy after he found her passed out in her hotel room. Dante and Brenda had grown close and in order to protect Brenda from Aleksander, Dante claimed that he was the father of her child. Dante and Brenda agreed that he would claim the child, but then terminate his paternal rights to allow Brenda to raise her child as she pleased.
However, Aleksander's mother, Suzanne Stanwyck knew the truth. Suzanne posed as the director of ASEC (Alliance to Save Exploited Children), an organization Brenda worked for. Brenda was unaware that Suzanne was Aleksander's mother. When she was seven months pregnant, Brenda and Suzanne traveled to Africa on ASEC business. In order to get her hands on her grandson, Suzanne drugged Brenda and induced her labor so she could take the baby. When Brenda came to, Suzanne lied and told her that she came down with a fever which caused a miscarriage. Brenda was devastated and grieved what she thought was the loss of her child. Suzanne took Alec and secretly raised him for years, while never admitting the truth to Brenda. Brenda was not reunited with Alec until he was four years old. After Suzanne's plot was unraveled by Dante, Sonny Corinthos and Carly Jacks, Sonny returned Alec to Brenda.
In May 2011, it was revealed that Suzanne took Brenda's biological son away and in his place gave Brenda, Lucian, who is actually a child that Suzanne took from her organization ASEC to give to Brenda in the place of Alec, and is not her biological child. Suzanne kept Brenda's real son hidden from her, so that she would be able to spend the rest of her life with her grandson, Alec and they would never have to be apart again, while Brenda spent her time happily with Lucian, believing that he was her true son. Suzanne's plan fell apart however after Brenda, with the advice of her husband Sonny Corinthos and best friend, Robin Scorpio, decided to take a DNA test on Lucian to see if he is really her biological son. When Suzanne heard of the plans for the DNA test, she kidnapped Lucian taking him down to San Antonio, so that Brenda would never have the chance to find out that Lucian is not her true biological son.
Brenda was distraught at Lucian's disappearance. She went on television with her ex-lover and friend Jasper Jacks identifying Suzanne as Lucian's kidnapper and offering a reward for any information on her whereabouts. Sonny, Dante Falconeri, and Carly Corinthos are all involved in the search for Lucian. At this point in time, Brenda remains unaware that Alec exists and is her true biological son. Sonny, Carly, and Dante found Suzanne and Alec. After a confrontation with Suzanne, Sonny brought Alec back to Port Charles and Alec was introduced to his mother, Brenda. Alec settles and adjusts to his new life with Sonny and Brenda. Brenda wants Sonny to adopt Alec and raise him as his own son. However, life gets hectic when rival mob boss Anthony Zacchara begins targeting Brenda and Alec as a way to get to Sonny.
In early July, while heading to a fourth of July picnic with his mother, he and his mom are caught in the middle of a shootout, orchestrated by Anthony as a scare tactic. Brenda freaks out, concerned for Alec's safety and Sonny plans for retaliation. When Brenda's friend Jax gets involved in a custody battle with his ex-wife Carly Benson over their daughter Josslyn Jacks, Brenda sides with Jax and Sonny sides with Carly which causes discord in Sonny and Brenda's marriage. After Sonny frames Jax for assault and drug possession, Brenda is appalled and angry and decides that she no longer wants Alec around that lifestyle. She didn't want Alec influenced by the mob and violence, so she made the painful decision to leave Sonny. Later, Brenda and Alec moved out of the manor and went to stay at the Metro Court Hotel. On July 21, Alec left town and moved to Rome, Italy with his mother and they were accompanied by Jasper Jacks.