Grandparents' struggle to adopt granddaughter

Family law may involve numerous sensitive and sometime complex legal issues pertaining to child custody, visitation and grandparents' rights. Generally, every state varies on the issue of grandparents' rights. Further, their rights are not guaranteed under the Constitution. Nonetheless given the role that grandparents' play in the upbringing of their grandchildren, in some circumstances, they may be granted visitation and even custody.

Florida families may find it interesting to learn of the struggle the parental grandparents of a 4-year-old in another state are going through. Currently, the father of the four-year-old is in jail and the mother is drug addicted. As a result, her parents will likely lose all parental rights. The girl was taken away from her drug-addicted mother in 2011, and placed in a foster home by child protection services even though her paternal grandparents were her next-to-kin. Thus, the grandparents are now trying to adopt their four-year-old granddaughter.

The grandparents found discovered the foster placement within five weeks and filed paperwork. However, their paperwork was not processed for nearly a year. The County did not follow the law by first looking for family interested in wanting the child, and then delaying the processing of the parental grandparents' paperwork.

Now, it has been nearly two years since the 4-year-old has been with the foster family and the paternal grandparents fear she has grown close to them. With the passage of time, their chances of adopting her are slim and the court is likely to consider what is in the best of the child.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "For girl's paternal grandparents, a costly custody delay," Maura Dolan, April 28, 2013

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