Chicago mom to appeal after judge stripped her of son’s custody until she’s vaccinated

‘I miss him more than anything’: Heartbroken mom claims Chicago judge stripped her of son’s custody for failing to vaccinate

  • Rebecca Firlit says Cook County judge James Shapiro blinded her when he stripped her of custody of her son for not getting her vaccine
  • She says he made the decision during an August 10 hearing via Zoom, along with her ex-husband with whom she currently shares custody of her son.
  • Judge Shapiro asked her about her vaccination status and she told him she had not received the COVID-19 vaccine because she had had bad reactions to vaccines
  • Shapiro then ruled that Firlit gave up all her parenting time with her son until she was vaccinated.
  • Firlit is currently appealing the court order, saying the judge has no right to strip her of parenting rights just because she hasn’t been vaccinated
  • Father’s lawyer admitted to being surprised by the decision but said they support the ruling due to the severity of the pandemic


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A Chicago mom appeals after a judge stripped her of custody of her son after discovering she hadn’t been vaccinated.

Rebecca Firelit told FOX 32 that Cook County judge James Shapiro blinded her when he stripped her of custody of her 11-year-old son during a child support hearing for failing to receive her COVID-19 vaccination.

“I miss my son more than anything. It has been very difficult. I haven’t seen him since August 10,’ said Firlit tearfully.

“I miss my son more than anything.  It has been very difficult.  I haven't seen him since August 10,' said Firlit (photo) tearfully

“I miss my son more than anything. It has been very difficult. I haven’t seen him since August 10,’ said Firlit (photo) tearfully

Firlit, who has been divorced for seven years, shares custody of her 11-year-old son (pictured together) with his father

Firlit, who has been divorced for seven years, shares custody of her 11-year-old son (pictured together) with his father

Firlit, who has been divorced for seven years, shares custody of her 11-year-old son (pictured together) with his father

She says he made the decision at a court hearing on Aug. 10 via Zoom, along with her ex-husband with whom she is currently splitting custody of her son after divorcing seven years ago.

Firlit told FOX 32 that Judge Shapiro asked her about her vaccination status and she told him she had not received the COVID-19 vaccine because she had had bad reactions to vaccines in the past, leading to Shapiro’s ruling that Firlit is renouncing of all her parenting time with her son until she gets vaccinated.

Firlit is currently appealing the court order, saying the judge has no right to strip her of parenting rights just because she has not been vaccinated and he is imposing his convictions on her.

Rebecca Firlit told FOX 32 that Cook County Judge James Shapiro (pictured) has stripped her of custody of her 11-year-old son for refusing to receive a vaccination

Rebecca Firlit told FOX 32 that Cook County Judge James Shapiro (pictured) has stripped her of custody of her 11-year-old son for refusing to receive a vaccination

Rebecca Firlit told FOX 32 that Cook County Judge James Shapiro (pictured) has stripped her of custody of her 11-year-old son for refusing to receive a vaccination

Firlit is currently appealing the court order, saying the judge has no right to strip her of parenting rights just because she hasn't been vaccinated

Firlit is currently appealing the court order, saying the judge has no right to strip her of parenting rights just because she hasn't been vaccinated

Firlit is currently appealing the court order, saying the judge has no right to strip her of parenting rights just because she hasn’t been vaccinated

“It had nothing to do with what we were talking about. He put his opinion on me. And take my son from me,’ said Firlit.

A spokesperson for Chief Justice Tim Evans and Judge Shapiro told FOX 32 they were unable to comment on the ruling due to the ongoing nature of the case and there was no set time. when the Court of Appeal makes its decision.

In a statement, Firlit’s attorney Annette Fernholz said: Fox news that Shapiro’s statement caught Firlit by surprise during what should have been a hearing focused on child support.

“The court clearly exceeded its jurisdiction in sua sponte to suspend the mother’s parental time while the matter before the court was child support,” Fernholz said.

“The father has not brought this matter to court,” the statement said. ‘The mother didn’t know her parenting time was being discussed when she went to zoom court in August [10]. The judge deprived her of notice and a full hearing on the matter. The matter is now before the Illinois Court of Appeals.”

Since the ruling two weeks ago, Firlit says she has had no physical contact with her son.

‘I think it’s wrong. I think it divides families. And I don’t think it’s in my son’s best interest to be away from his mother,” Firlit said.

Jeffrey Leving, the father’s lawyer, said he was also surprised by the judge’s decision, but that the father will support the ruling in the interest of his son’s safety.

“There are children who have died from COVID. I believe that every child should be safe. And I agree that the mother should be vaccinated,” Leving told FOX 32.

While children can contract COVID-19 and pass the disease on to others, they usually don’t get very sick.

In fact, a recent study found that natural immunity against previous COVID-19 infection may provide stronger protection against the Indian ‘Delta’ variant than immunity against full vaccination.

More than 180,000 children tested positive for COVID-19 last week, according to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics, a 50 percent increase from the previous week.

Thousands of children are already in quarantine due to contamination or exposure to the virus during the opening weeks of the school year, and some schools have even had to close.

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