Judge reverses decision, allows unvaccinated mom to see her son

The judge initially stripped the mother of her parental rights over the son

A Chicago judge reversed his decision that stripped an unvaccinated mother of her parental rights over her 11-year-old son. 

"Judge Shapiro just issued an order vacating portions of his prior order of August 11th so Rebecca Firlit can see her son again," Rebecca Firlit’s attorney, Annette Fernholz, told FOX 32 Chicago Monday.  

Firlit said she has not seen her son since Aug. 10, and that Cook County Judge James Shapiro initially revoked her parenting time with her son until she gets vaccinated. She previously recounted to the media that she has been divorced from her husband for several years, and said she doesn’t want to get the jab due to previous adverse reactions to vaccines. 

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Shapiro reversed his decision on Monday after the story gained traction in the media, which Fernholz credits with helping Firlit’s case. 

"I think there’s been a lot of media outcry," Fernholz said. "The divorce bar here in Illinois has been responding when they saw it on the news."

Rebecca Firlit and her son (Credit: FOX 32 Chicago)

Rebecca Firlit and her son (Credit: FOX 32 Chicago) (FOX 32 Chicago)

As for Firlit, she said she "was surprised" by the judge’s reversal, "but my reaction is I’m grateful."

The attorney representing the son, however, contends that the judge’s initial decision to bar Firlit from seeing her son was more complicated than her refusing the coronavirus vaccine. 

"The judge needs to look out for the best interest of the child," said attorney Michael Bender, saying Firlit’s behavior during the hearing was "volatile."

"He was seeing something that clearly said to him, ‘There is an endangerment to the child right now.’ And we’re gonna act on it," Bender said.

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Firlit has pushed back on the claim, saying her behavior during the hearing did not play a role in the judge’s initial decision. 

"It definitely was not a reason to take my child away from me," Firlit said. "I’m not an endangerment to him. Nothing was filed about that. Nothing that we were in the hearing for had anything to do with it."

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Firlit may be able to see her son as early as Wednesday.