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Do Grandparents Have a "right" to Their Grandchild (Page 1)

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I was reading on another forum that someone thought that she had a "right" to her grandchildren. What do you think? Do or should grandparents have a legal right to their grandchildren? Do they then have inherrent responsibilities? What should one do if they feel the grandparents are mistreating/abusing them? What about spoiling them beyond the range of comfort for a parent? Some states already have established instances where grandparents do have rights. What do you think?

*edited to add:

Some people are using this as an argument for anti-abortion laws as well.


Last edited by sillyakchick on July 20th, 2007 12:37 PM; edited 1 time in total
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replied July 20th, 2007
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*blink*

No. I don't see how they justify that. Your child's child is not your child. In a perfect world, every parent and child would have a great relationship, and therefore there would be no problems with grandparent/grandchild. But I know if my mother tried to get any sort of rights to Alyvia I would fight her tooth and nail.

If the baby is being put up for adoption or has been taken into protective custody, that's different. But otherwise, I don't see where the sense of entitlement comes from.
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replied July 20th, 2007
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where i live, they just established a bill of rights for grandparents. mind you it's pretty limited but i think it's an excellent thing. oh boy, long story. i haven't seen my two nieces in 10 years. i was so close with them, especially the younger one who was almost 3 the last time i saw her. i held her on the day she was born and saw her almost every day after. my mom was also very close with them. my brother's wife was a little bit controlling to say the least. i think it bothered her how close we were to the kids, but we didn't spoil them. we weren't allowed to. there were very strict rules we had to follow as to what we could say and do with the kids. like, we were never allowed to ask them to do anything. you couldn't say to the girls "we should go to the park" or for a picnic, or to kokom's house (grandma's) or anything. so we never did. we always had to clear it with mom first. anyway, my brother quit law school so he could work while she finished her social work degree. when she graduated he was supposed to go back to law school while she worked. but she didn't want to work, she wanted a baby. he said no. she went to my mom. my mom said "it's none of my business" and wouldn't get involved. my sister in law freaked out and said we couldn't ever see the girls again. we went for family mediation and counselling. nothing worked. she finally looked me in the eye and said there was no reason for it, i hadn't really done anything, she just didn't want to share her family anymore. she told my mom "he's MY husband now, not your son". and that was that.

my mom didn't take them to court over it because she believed they would change their minds over time. they still haven't. the older girl is 17 now and emails my mom (and sometimes me) and sneaks behind her parent's back to see her. i haven't seen either of them yet and i still cry when i think about them. my mom was part of a group of grandparents in similar situations that lobbied the government to give them some rights. the only thing that it changed was that parents have to do some family mediation and provide a good reason for excluding the grandparents.
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replied July 20th, 2007
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i just want to add, that "rights" in most cases means the right to have access to and visitation with the child. custody cases are different. i think, the more important question is what are the rights of the child? the children should have the right to have people in their life that are their blood relations, that love them and only want the best for them. just because one parent doesn't like the grandparent shouldn't be enough of a reason to exclude them entirely from the life of the child. unless there is a good reason or reasonable suspicion that contact with the grandparent will be detrimental to the child, then they should have some rights. even with the bill that was recently passed here, the grandparents would still have to petition the courts at their own expense in order to exercise those rights, and most grandparents won't even do that because they want to salvage the relationship with their child as well. divorces can be nasty and can result in a lot of immature behaviour on the part of the parents and that is the major cause of situations where the grandparents are denied access. my sister in law threatened to divorce my brother and take his children if he didn't give her her way and although nothing has ever hurt me more, i can somewhat understand the decision he made. i, as an aunt, however, have no rights whatsoever.
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replied July 20th, 2007
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This is a good topic and I'm sure it will get some varied response. Kaerbear your story made me so upset about your sister in law and frankly scares me to death.

My family recently had an upheaval that involved my brother, his wife, my parents and my niece. The fighting went on for months. My sister in law was forbidding my mom to see her grandchild because they were fighting. They were constantly putting my niece in the middle of the arguments and using her as a pawn. They would basically tell my mom that she must see things their way or they couldn't see their grandchild. It was really sad. Eventually they made up and things are back to normal, but it scares me that they might try to do this to my mom again. It absolutely tore my mom to pieces so much that she could barely function.

Several times she talked to lawyers about getting some grandparents rights for visitation. The lawyers told her that if she went through with it, that they would have a good chance at winning, and being able to have some visitation with her grandchild.

I think that under certain situations, that it is good that there are some kind of grandparents rights. If the parents are abusive, un fit, doing drugs, and basically in an unsafe situation, then it is a good thing for the child to be removed. In my family's situation, I think that it would have been good and bad. I do think that my mom has some right to see my niece, but on the other hand, I can only imagine the damage it would cause between my mom and my brother and sister in law. It would have cause some irreversible damage. not to mention confusing the heck out of my niece.
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replied July 20th, 2007
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I think if you feel the grandparent is a good person and you trust that they are not going do something like kidnap or hurt your child, why wouldn't you want them in the child's life? Kids need family and the more the better. I personally think it's ridiculous to not allow a grandparent to see thier grandchildren because of some petty argument. If it's a question of safety that is another story.
As far as Do they have a right to them? No, it's your child and if you don't feel that they are going to be a positive influence in your child's life, you should have the right to deny them access to your children. If you feel they are abusive or putting your kids in harm's way you shouldn't let your kids go around them. If a grandparent wants to be a pain in the butt (PIA) they could go to court and petition for visitation and the parents should have good reason to deny it.
Grandparents spoil kids, it's what they do. If a grandparent were to blatently go against your beliefs or do something that you morally think is wrong than you should say something to them and if they continue let them know that if they can't abide by your parenting than you may not feel comfortable having your child with them. To deny a grandparent from seeing their grandbaby because grandma gave little Johnny a cookie before dinner is a pretty small thing IMO.
Where I live if a child is removed from their mother by CPS the children may not go to the mother's parents because our state feels that the grandparents raised the mother and therefore their parenting skills might be lacking too.
I do not think that a grandparent has one iota of say in whether a mother chooses to keep or abort a baby. It is a mother's right to choose. She, after all is the one who has to live with her decision.
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replied July 20th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
The grandmother of my daughter ruined my adoption plan.

I want to stick a stake through her effing face some days when I think about all the power she had in something that should have been my choice.

Anyways... I don't have anything to add to the discussion.
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replied July 20th, 2007
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i do not think they have a"right"
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replied July 20th, 2007
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Re: Do Grandparents Have a "right" to Their Grandc
sillyakchick wrote:
I was reading on another forum that someone thought that she had a "right" to her grandchildren. What do you think? Do or should grandparents have a legal right to their grandchildren? Do they then have inherrent responsibilities? What should one do if they feel the grandparents are mistreating/abusing them? What about spoiling them beyond the range of comfort for a parent? Some states already have established instances where grandparents do have rights. What do you think?

*edited to add:

Some people are using this as an argument for anti-abortion laws as well.


No.*shrug* they don't have any rights. Family-laws are not real laws. If a parent does not want the grandparent there for some reason, then the grandparent needs to leave. GP's do not have a right to discipline the child beyond the ways the parent would. Spoiling is just gonna happen lol, but if the parent is uncomfortable they have a right to remove the child from the situation, or kick the GP out of the house if the parent and child are at home.

A grandparent has NO claim to the grandchild before it is born and they do NOT have priority in adoption cases. They've already raised a child, they had their time in the limelight. My mother thinks she's going to take any accidental pregnancy I get and raise it herself, and that's this situation. I absolutely refuse. She has no right to raise my child. I'm gonna abort if I wanna, and I'm going to give it up for adoption to strangers if I wanna. The LAST person I want raising my child is my mother.
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replied July 20th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
I have seen this discussion before, in magazine articles, and in 'real life'.

hehe.. Disclaimer..
I would like to believe that each mom and dad has their childs best interest at heart, that is not always the case, but I am pretending that it is...

Grandparents can be a blessing, but they can also be a curse. I trust that if someone has a reason to deny visitation to g-parents, that they have a good reason, and that it is none of my business Razz

No, they do not have rights.
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replied July 20th, 2007
Most Diplomatic Poster
they don't always have a good reason. there are such things as elder abuse too. my mom's best friend has both of her sons living with her because they moved back home when they couldn't make it on their own. her younger son had a daughter with a girl and the girl abandoned them before the baby was one year old. she has since started another family with another guy and isn't interested in custody. so, my mom's friend has been helping to raise this little girl who is now 6. her son treats his mom like garbage and doesn't do anything to help around the house. but she tolerates him because she knows that if she were to kick him out she would never see her grandchild again. she doesn't want to raise a little girl on her own, she is already in her 60's and is still working full time. but at the same time, she wants to be in her granddaughter's life, so she puts up with all the abuse. if he decided tomorrow to walk out of there with his daughter and tell his mom she has no right to see her anymore, she should have some kind of supports, by law, to have visitation and access to her granddaughter, but according to what people are saying she has "no right". there are a lot of stories out there like this. my mom takes a lot of crap from my sister as well for fear of losing her granddaughter because my sister tells her flat out, if i dont get what i want you wont see her ever again. after what happened with my brother, what do you think my mom does? whatever my sister asks. you can't say grandparents should have no rights in every situation. it's not like they can just waltz in and take the child with no reason. if they have some backing by law it only gives them a small chance in hell that a judge would rule in favour of giving them visitation anyway.

* as far as the law goes where i live, up until now the onus has been entirely on the grandparents to try to prove that they have been shut out for no good reason. if they were to take it to court, they would have to convince the judge that they have been treated unfairly by the parent or parents and rely totally on the judge's discretion. now, with the new by-law, the parents have some responsibility in proving their decision to not allow any access to the grandparents. they have to have some measure of proof that the relationship is detrimental to the child. now, judges have more of a choice in giving grandparents a chance to see their grandkids (ie. visit, not get custody) through family mediation or visitation orders. it is still the judge's choice, but now there is a very slightly higher likelyhood that they will order some mediation or limited access if the parents can't come up with a solid reason for denying them.
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replied July 21st, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
Grandparents do not have rights, it is not 'their' child, and they are not raising the children themselves.

I am not taking into account g-parents that are raising children..I am saying that in a perfect scenario...

A woman has the right to deny HER OWN mother visitation, for any reason, no matter what.
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replied July 21st, 2007
Most Diplomatic Poster
well, where i live, they actually DO have rights. it's the law. whether people like it or not it has been studied and proposed and passed into law. from what i hear it has become a trend and these laws are being enacted in more places all the time. so, obviously, someone sees a need for them.

also, my mom isn't raising her grandchild but she is an extremely positive and loving influence on her. my niece would be devastated if she lost contact with her, just like my other nieces were. the children should also, at some point, have some say in the matter, like they do in the case of parental visitation. you can't know what it's like until you have it happen to you and see how unfair it is to both the adult and the child. it can cause lasting damage to a child's emotional well being. i don't think you should really say outright that no grandparents should have any rights when there are so many different situations possible.
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replied July 22nd, 2007
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I feel that no grandparents should have any rights unless they hold guardianship of their grandchild in cases where the child's parents are no longer living or cannot provide for the child. The reason with my feelings towards is b/c I do not get along with my b/f's mother and she should not have any rights towards my daughter. She is unfit to be a grandmother let alone a mother. She has done so many things that I am not happy and I dont want my daughter growing up knowing what her so called grandmother does is right. Her grandmother has been thrown into jail twice for shoplifting and so far cannot support her two younder children. Cannot hold a job and she's draining this poor old guy's money just so she can get by. My daughter can have a relationship with her grandmother but only to a certain extent. I want to raise my daughter...my way. So now i am speaking to a lawyer later on in the week to get started on some legal documents if something should ever happened to me.
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replied July 22nd, 2007
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I don't believe grandparents should have any rights. I keep my son away from my husband's family as much as possible, especially his mother. They are not people that I would leave a dog with let alone my own flesh and blood. They are not good people. They have no morals. Their morals wouldn't necessarily have to agree with mine if they were decent human beings. But since they don't have any morals they do what they want, when they want, how they want and when they suffer the consequences of their own actions they blame everyone but themselves. I will not allow my son to be corrupted by them. his mother is perhaps the worst because she has allowed her children to be molested in the past by previous boyfriends. Then she ignored the situation and kept the boyfriends because she's the type that always has to have a man. When we went to visit them her new boyfriend was there. He's younger than her children and an alcoholic. I was keeping my son in my sight while we were there and asked her not to take him anywhere where i couldn't see him. So she waited until i went into the kitchen to make him a bottle and ran upstairs to take him to her boyfriend. when i came out of the kitchen and saw he wasn't there, i ran upstairs and when she saw me coming she slammed the door in my face. so you know that at that point all *ehem* broke loose. I would do her fatal bodily harm before i would allow her to so much as cross the street with my baby.
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replied July 22nd, 2007
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tigresacanela24 wrote:
I don't believe grandparents should have any rights. I keep my son away from my husband's family as much as possible, especially his mother. They are not people that I would leave a dog with let alone my own flesh and blood. They are not good people. They have no morals. Their morals wouldn't necessarily have to agree with mine if they were decent human beings. But since they don't have any morals they do what they want, when they want, how they want and when they suffer the consequences of their own actions they blame everyone but themselves. I will not allow my son to be corrupted by them. his mother is perhaps the worst because she has allowed her children to be molested in the past by previous boyfriends. Then she ignored the situation and kept the boyfriends because she's the type that always has to have a man. When we went to visit them her new boyfriend was there. He's younger than her children and an alcoholic. I was keeping my son in my sight while we were there and asked her not to take him anywhere where i couldn't see him. So she waited until i went into the kitchen to make him a bottle and ran upstairs to take him to her boyfriend. when i came out of the kitchen and saw he wasn't there, i ran upstairs and when she saw me coming she slammed the door in my face. so you know that at that point all *ehem* broke loose. I would do her fatal bodily harm before i would allow her to so much as cross the street with my baby.


Thats how I exactly feel towards my b/f mother. And its mainly the reason why I refused to marry him. It's his mother and her family i have a problem with. I'm fine with his dad and his dad's family. I can see why his dad divorced his mom. Cant trust her with anything not even animals. Every time used to have a pet with her....and it does the slightest thing wrong...she'll get rid of it or kill it. Whenever she's around my daughter i supervise her cuz i dont trust her.
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replied July 22nd, 2007
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Oh i just wanted to add one more thing about my daughter's grandmother....not only does she shoplift but she steals from her own kids. Thats pretty sad that her kids have to hide their money they receive as a birthday present or they earn it. So yea my daughter isnt gonna get hermoney stolen from her own grandmother.
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replied July 22nd, 2007
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bernibaby86 wrote:
Oh i just wanted to add one more thing about my daughter's grandmother....not only does she shoplift but she steals from her own kids. Thats pretty sad that her kids have to hide their money they receive as a birthday present or they earn it. So yea my daughter isnt gonna get hermoney stolen from her own grandmother.


I don't blame you at all. Isn't it amazing that people like this exist? You think that most people are really decent at heart and then you meet these people.
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replied September 24th, 2011
babys have feelings too
people like you are talking about steal, leave children to be molested, don't have feelings for anyone including grandchild. My sister and I have been a large part in my sister grandbaby's life for over a year and her daughter wanted a life with a man in another state and took the baby (without telling us) to her father and went off with this man. Now we have not seen the baby for ober a year. The cild was so loved and loved her fmily so much I know it tore her up as it does us. We keep fighting for some type of vistit with the child but because of her daughters shame of giveing the child to her father so she can be with a man she decided to demand the father not allow us to see the child. He honors her decisioon so he can continue to have the child in his custody without mom fighting him. This is hurtful beyond belief to both us and the child. She lost her entire family so mommy can have a boyfriend. Honestly we would not care if she had a bf or turned the child over to the father so long as we could still be in her life at some extent. We will keep trying because we love her beyond belief and want her to know we did not abandon her or turn away from her, and that we love her and always will. Thats all we want. You cant take a child entire extended family from her and think thats not going to cause damage to her. We were good enough to be fulltime babysitters (7 days and nights a week) good enough to form a bond with the baby
good enough to love her, take care of her when she was sick, play with her, and smile when she walked in the room but not good enough when done with our services.
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replied September 24th, 2011
babys have feelings too
people like you are talking about steal, leave children to be molested, don't have feelings for anyone including grandchild. My sister and I have been a large part in my sister grandbaby's life for over a year and her daughter wanted a life with a man in another state and took the baby (without telling us) to her father and went off with this man. Now we have not seen the baby for ober a year. The cild was so loved and loved her fmily so much I know it tore her up as it does us. We keep fighting for some type of vistit with the child but because of her daughters shame of giveing the child to her father so she can be with a man she decided to demand the father not allow us to see the child. He honors her decisioon so he can continue to have the child in his custody without mom fighting him. This is hurtful beyond belief to both us and the child. She lost her entire family so mommy can have a boyfriend. Honestly we would not care if she had a bf or turned the child over to the father so long as we could still be in her life at some extent. We will keep trying because we love her beyond belief and want her to know we did not abandon her or turn away from her, and that we love her and always will. Thats all we want. You cant take a child entire extended family from her and think thats not going to cause damage to her. We were good enough to be fulltime babysitters (7 days and nights a week) good enough to form a bond with the baby
good enough to love her, take care of her when she was sick, play with her, and smile when she walked in the room but not good enough when done with our services.
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replied July 22nd, 2007
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but what about the grandparents that aren't like that? tough sh_t for them? if you have good reasons then that's one thing and you can bring things like that up with a judge IF they were to take it as far as court, which most wouldn't just for visitation. visitation can also be supervised so you wouldn't have to worry about the safety of the kids. but when there is a strong relationship established and the parent cuts it off for no good reason that, to me, is wrong and there should be a way to prevent it, even if it's just to allow the family to see the child once in a while, supervised or not.
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replied July 22nd, 2007
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kaerbear wrote:
but what about the grandparents that aren't like that? tough sh_t for them? if you have good reasons then that's one thing and you can bring things like that up with a judge IF they were to take it as far as court, which most wouldn't just for visitation. visitation can also be supervised so you wouldn't have to worry about the safety of the kids. but when there is a strong relationship established and the parent cuts it off for no good reason that, to me, is wrong and there should be a way to prevent it, even if it's just to allow the family to see the child once in a while, supervised or not.


Actually, yes. I'm sorry but I think tough sh*t for them. My children are my children and I don't have to let them around anyone that I don't want them around. Whatever the reason. I know this sounds harsh but this is the truth. Even if I decide I don't want my child to visit a relative because I'm a Buddhist and they're not (or some equally assinine reason). I have a right to raise my child any way that I see fit and I have the right to choose who I will allow my children to associate with. Now while I would hope that I wouldn't be a b*tch and keep my children away from relatives without good cause, if I choose to be then I should be allowed that right. I am his mother, no one else is. I'm sorry for you situation but I believe that it is the mother's right to choose who she will allow her children to be with. And I don't think any court should strip away those rights.
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