Cook County decide strips mom of parental legal rights since she is not vaccinated

Audria Easterly

UPDATE: A judge in Chicago has reversed his decision barring an unvaccinated mother from observing her son, and will let her to see him immediately after all. Entire story here.

A Chicago mother says a Cook County decide has taken away her parental legal rights soon after discovering that she is not vaccinated towards COVID-19.

In what all functions concur is a quite uncommon and possibly unparalleled step, a judge at Chicago’s Daley Middle has stripped Rebecca Firlit of custody because she refuses to get a vaccination shot.

“I overlook my son extra than just about anything. It is been quite hard. I haven’t observed him considering the fact that August 10th,” Firlit informed FOX 32 Information in an exclusive interview.


That’s the working day Firlit appeared in courtroom via Zoom alongside with her ex-husband for a child help hearing involving their 11-year-previous son. The two have been divorced for 7 many years and share custody and parenting time.

She claims out of the blue, Cook County Judge James Shapiro asked her whether or not she had been vaccinated. Firlit informed Shapiro she experienced not for the reason that she has experienced poor reactions to vaccines in the previous.

Shapiro then purchased that Firlit be stripped of all parenting time with her son until she gets vaccinated.

In excess of the previous two weeks, Firlit has been capable to discuss to her son on the mobile phone and by means of movie phone calls, but has not seen him in man or woman.

“I consider that it’s erroneous. I believe that it is dividing people. And I imagine it’s not in my son’s ideal fascination to be absent from his mom,” Firlit mentioned.

Firlit is now interesting the court docket order, indicating the decide has no organization having away her parenting rights basically because she’s not vaccinated.

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“It had nothing at all to do with what we had been speaking about. He was inserting his sights on me. And having my son away from me,” Firlit mentioned.

Annette Fernholz, Firlit’s lawyer, says the choose has overstepped his authority.

“In this situation you have a decide, with out any subject before him about the parenting time with the boy or girl determining ‘Oh, you’re not vaccinated. You do not get to see your little one until finally you are vaccinated.’ That variety of exceeds his jurisdiction,” Fernholz stated.

“You have to have an understanding of the father did not even convey this issue right before the courtroom. So it’s the decide on his personal and generating this choice that you simply cannot see your little one until finally you’re vaccinated,” Fernholz extra.

The lawyer representing the father, Jeffrey Leving, states they ended up also shocked by the judge’s conclusion, but they guidance the ruling indicating that provided the pandemic, the boy or girl ought to be guarded from an unvaccinated mom.

“There are children who have died because of COVID. I feel just about every youngster really should be secure. And I concur that the mom must be vaccinated,” Leving mentioned.

A spokesperson for Main Decide Tim Evans and Judge Shapiro reported they couldn’t comment for the reason that of the ongoing character of the case.

Leving believes the choose is breaking new floor that could now participate in out in other custody instances. There is no timetable on when the appellate court will make its conclusion. 

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