Expanded Stepparent and Grandparent Third-Party Childcare in Illinois
Parness, Jeffrey A.
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Recognizing the need for reforms involving, inter alia, parental and third-party childcare interests, the Illinois General Assembly created a study committee, resulting in several proposed amendments to the Illinois Parentage Act and to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. After several years of debate and amendment, parentage and marriage dissolution law reforms were enacted in 2015. Unfortunately, the recent changes, and the earlier proposals arising from the study, insufficiently address the inadequacies of the current regimes on third-party childcare, especially childcare opportunities for stepparents and grandparents. This is especially problematic since there are few, if any, opportunities for Illinois stepparents and grandparents to become parents in the absence of formal adoption. General Assembly action is warranted. Suggested approaches follow.