Grandparents are growing more involved in the raising of their grandchildren, according to some studies. One showed that 5.8 million children in the United States are living with their grandparents, and another 2 million are living with other relatives who are not their parents. Calls to Tucson's KARE Family Center in Arizona came from grandparents about 60 percent of the time.
However, when families are going through tough times, it has been shown that grandparents are often pushed out of the picture. It can be difficult and expensive for them to get the child custody rights that they want. Many of them are unable to do it, and they lose access to their grandchildren.
In some cases, this happens because the grandparents are trying to protect those children. One woman who lives in California noticed bruises on the arm of her granddaughter, who lives with her parents in Arizona. She took pictures of these bruises and attempted to have the child removed from the home, believing abuse was taking place, but her attempts were denied.
The parents, angry at her actions, decided not to let her see her grandchildren anymore. She would have to go through the court system to get an order allowing her to be involved in their lives. She is still nervous that the children are living in a dangerous situation, but she is running out of options.
Any grandparents who feel that their rights are being violated or that their grandchildren are in danger need to know what rights they have. This story can serve as an indication of what can happen and what actions they may need to take.
Source: Arizona Daily Star, "When families dissolve, grandparents often squeezed out" Patty Matchelor, Jun. 16, 2014