In Illinois, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act ("IMDMA") governs child custody and visitation issues. In the past, Illinois courts have adopted common law equitable principles to find standing for individuals who play significant parental roles in a child's life, and who seek visitation. Recognizing that it serves the best interests of the child, these courts have exercised their equitable powers to find standing for individuals who are the practical equivalent of parents. The Illinois Appellate court In re C.B.L. recently rejected this common law tradition when asked to find standing for a nonbiological lesbian co-parent seeking visitation. This Note provides an overview of the legal ramifications of chosen routes to parenthood and the issues raised when lesbian or gay parents end a romantic relationship with one another, but intend to maintain their parental relationships with the children. It also critiques the reasoning offered by the C.B.L. court, and presents a basis for extending equitable principles to lesbian or gay co-biological parents seeking visitation under both common law and the IMDMA.

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