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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102505
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I need help for my family. I have a heroin addicted sister, Samantha, that had her son ta

Customer Question

I need help for my family. I have a heroin addicted sister, Samantha, that had her son taken away by DCFS when he was a few weeks old (he is now almost three. My mom is the "foster parent" because it was easier because we live 15 miles away but it is across a state line. My mom DOES NOT want to actually raise him, but she collects the foster stipend, gets to let his birth mother see him whenever she wants because she watches him during the day while myself and husband work, and has us actually caring for him with our only motivation being that we love and adore the little guy.

I finally got to the point where I let the case manager know what was really going on and am not getting any action from her although i've also told her that my mom continues to let my heroin addict sister to have a lot of contact with him. This is strictly against DCFS rules and so is the fact he isn’t really living with my mother! There is a way to make the custody situation of the child right, but
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ely replied 6 years ago.

Welcome to JustAnswer and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. Please remember that there might be a delay between your follow up questions and my answers because I may be helping other clients or taking a break.

I am sorry for your situation. Can you tell me if you wish to get custody?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Yes, I wish to take custody, but my mom is opposing with the sole reason being thay she can ensure the birthmother that isnt supposed to have contact can continue to see him.
Expert:  Ely replied 6 years ago.
Thank you, and you are over eighteen, correct?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Yes. 38. No criminal history. And the child has been sleeping at my home in his own room for 2 1/2 years.
Expert:  Ely replied 6 years ago.
Thank you - last question - what state is this in?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The child is a ward of the state of Illinois. I live just across the river in Saint Louis, MO.
Expert:  Ely replied 6 years ago.
Thank you.

In this case, you may have legal standing to file custody for her, but you face an uphill battle. Aside from proving that this would be "in the best interest of the child," you would also have to show that you have standing to pursue custody in the first place.

According to Stalder v. Stone, 107 N.E.2d 696 (Ill. 1952) and In re J.K.F., 529 N.E.2d 92 (Ill. App. 1988), any conduct which evinces a settled purpose to forego all parental duties and relinquish all parental claims to the child is enough for a non-parent to file for custody. This is what you would have to show here - that the mother is simply not taking care of the daughter and in fact, has virtually abandoned her.

You would begin by filing a motion for custody within the already-ongoing suit, under the same cause number. Counsel is highly recommended.

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