CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago mother who lost her kids because she was deemed an unfit parent now has them back.
WBBM Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser reports such a thing has never happened before in Illinois.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser reports
Yolanda Miller, 49, of Chicago, had her parental rights terminated sometime ago.
“It all started with my addiction, with drugs, when I lost the kids,” she said.
But now she has adopted her own kids – some of them now fully grown.
“It’s been an amazing journey,” she said.
Miller’s mother was raising her kids until she died.
“It wasn’t my mom’s job to raise my kids,” Miller said. “That was my job.”
So she got her life together, and says she’s been clean for 14 years.
Miller has adopted her 16 and 17-year-old boys and her 27-year-old twin daughters.
She has five more to go.
“Anything is possible for those that believe, and I’ve always believed that I was going to get my children back once I got my life back together,” she said.
Her children are also pleased with the decision.
“I’m very proud of my Mom, very proud; even the grand kids,” said daughter Rashunda. “They understand.”
There are 26 grandchildren.
The law used to forbid parents who’d had their legal rights terminated from adopting their children back. It was possible to get the children back, but the kids remained legal orphans.
But state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz says that has now changed. The law now allows the birth parent to adopt their kids in cases in which a relative had been raising them.
“Yolanda Miller is one of those parents,” Feigenholtz said. “Yolanda has done exactly what society has asked her to do.”
Feigenholtz says 500 kids are orphaned each year by the death of grandparents raising their kids’ children.