Adoptive mother, who had adopted child from Slovakia while she was in romantic relationship with boyfriend, was not equitably estopped from challenging former boyfriend’s standing to seek custody, visitation, and an allocation of child support; there was no misrepresentation since mother did not misrepresent to boyfriend that he was child’s biological or adoptive father, mother’s adoption of child did not pertain to boyfriend, boyfriend’s relationship with child was contingent upon his relationship with mother, who was child’s only legal parent, any words or conduct by mother to encourage a relationship between child and boyfriend were gratuitous on mother’s part, and once they terminated their romantic relationship, it was not unjust for mother to refuse to allow custody or visitation between child and boyfriend. Former boyfriend, who sought custody of child that his girlfriend had adopted while they were in a romantic relationship, did not meet the standing requirement for nonparents as set forth in Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, and he could not petition for custody, visitation, and support as child’s “parent” because Illinois did not recognize functional parent theories; boyfriend lacked statutory recognition as child’s father, and accordingly, he was a statutory nonparent, and girlfriend had always retained physical custody of child.
Laura W. Morgan is the owner and operator at Family Law Consulting in Charlottesville, Virginia.Laura is available for consultation, brief writing and research on family law issues throughout the country. She can be reached through her website. www.