- A judge ruled a mom can’t visit her 11-year-old son until she gets vaccinated against COVID-19.
- The virtual court hearing over child support took a turn when the judge asked about vaccination.
- Weeks later, the judge reversed his earlier decision, allowing the mom to visit her son.
A Chicago judge changed course after he ruled that a mother with shared custody of her son could not see the boy until she was vaccinated against COVID-19. After a few weeks passed and the mom filed an appeal, the judge vacated his earlier decision.
Earlier this month, Rebecca Firlit went to virtual court with her ex-husband to discuss child support. Instead, Cook County Judge James Shapiro asked about Firlit’s vaccination status, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“One of the first things he asked me when I got on the
call was whether or not I was vaccinated, which threw me off because I asked him what it had to do with the hearing,” Firlit, 39, told the newspaper.
Firlit’s ex-husband and son’s father, Matthew Duiven, is vaccinated, the Sun-Times reported. Firlit is not.
Shapiro prohibited Firlit from seeing her 11-year-old son until she gets vaccinated against COVID-19. Shapiro did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Firlit filed an appeal but could only speak with her son over the phone in the meantime.
She hasn’t said whether she’ll get vaccinated, the Washington Post reported.
On Monday, Shapiro changed his mind, allowing Firlit to see her son in person, Firlit’s attorney told WFLD.
The number of children hospitalized for COVID-19 has risen to peak levels in the US, NBC News reported. Data from earlier this month showed hospitals were treating over 1,200 children a day on average.
The COVID-19 vaccines are only authorized in the US for children 12 and up, so at 11, Firlit’s son is too young to get one himself.
While the Sun-Times reported that Firlit’s ex-husband did not initially raise the issue of vaccination, he intended to fight Firlit’s appeal. Duiven’s attorney wasn’t immediately available for comment before publication.