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Family law: Grandparents no longer kidnappers of grandchildren

Grandparents in Illinois might be relieved to learn about the recent unexpected passing of House Bill 4607. This legislative proposal will allow grandparents who have custody of their grandchildren to ensure they get the necessary medical care even if it is in a neighboring state. Previously, family law gave them custody, but grandparents could face criminal charges for kidnapping a child if they sought medical care across state lines.

State Representative John Cavaletto (R-Salem) says he has been fighting a battle on behalf of grandparents in his area for six years. If the bill is signed into law, grandparents will no longer be in danger of losing custody if they take a grandchild for medical care in another state. The amended legislation will no longer allow the Department of Children and Family Services to place such a child in foster care on the grounds of kidnapping.

This has been a significant concern because grandparents who were doing what was best for the children by seeking excellent medical care in neighboring states were criminally charged. Many of them lost custody of their grandchildren because they took them for treatment by medical specialists that were not available in Illinois. This defeated the goal of keeping children out of the foster care system by keeping families together.

Grandparents in Illinois who have questions about the proposed new legislation or any other laws related to the child custody they have of their grandchildren can get answers from an experienced family law attorney. The needs of children should always come first. With the support and guidance of legal counsel, grandparents can make sure they do what is best for their grandchildren.

Source:, "Cavaletto's "Grandparents Rights" Bill Passes House", April 27, 2018

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