The issue of grandparents' rights seems to be a growing concern for many Americans across the country. Pennsylvania grandparents who have seen their children lose custody of their grandchildren know that it can be difficult to obtain visiting rights once the state takes over. Oftentimes, courts cannot legally order foster parents to let biological grandparents see their grandchildren. For reasons such as this, many people are starting to lobby for grandparents' rights.
One grandmother who participated in a rally outside a courthouse stressed how important her grandchildren were to her, and vice versa. She said that she had been part of their lives since they were first born, and called them her 'heart and soul.' That is a statement with which many other grandparents likely agree. Unfortunately, once her state's Child Protective Services put her 9-year-old grandson into foster care, she lost the right to visit with him.
She and her husband evidently decided that something had to change, and so they signed a grandparents' rights petition started by another woman. That woman is apparently working hard to further her cause, sending out letters to legislators and taking other steps to push for grandparents' rights to visit grandchildren. She pointed out that if a parenting plan had been signed when her grandchildren's parents divorced, she wouldn't be going through the heartache of fighting for the right to visit her grandchildren.
She further stated that her group wasn't trying to take the children away from those who had custody of them. Their goal is simply to get visiting rights to see the grandchildren they love so much. Grandparents' rights for visiting access could potentially benefit Pennsylvania children as much as the grandparents. Many have loving relationships with their grandparents and may not understand why they are no longer able to see them. Children often internalize things, and many could interpret a grandparent failing to visit them as a choice made because of something that did, when that is often simply not the case.
Source: wboy.com, "Grandparents Rally for Rights Held at Harrison County Courthouse," Stacy Jacobson, Aug. 15, 2012