Dear Barb: I enjoy reading your column, although I may be a little older than most of your readers. I am a grandmother of two beautiful little girls. My son, who is their father, has just separated from his wife and now I am having a problem seeing the girls. My son has become so frustrated that he is giving up, but I don’t feel that is the right thing to do. I just don’t know what rights I have as a grandmother to see my grandchildren. I have heard somewhere that grandparents do have some rights. Do you know anything about this, or at least where I can find out more information?
Dinah – Woodstock
Hello Dinah. I am also a grandmother and I’m sure many of my readers are as well. I would be devastated if I were not able to see my grandchildren.
Unfortunately, when adults get caught up in the bitterness of separation and divorce, they often lose sight of the overall picture. They are so consumed with their own anger and pain that they do not take the time to consider the needs of their children. A child whose grandparents have been a regular part of their life prior to their parent’s divorce will now suffer a double loss. These children will have lost their home, which consisted of two parents, as well as losing a set of grandparents. Grandparents are an important part of their grandchildren’s lives. They not only love and care for their grandchildren, but also provide wisdom and pass on family history. Children love to hear stories about when their parents were young. These are valuable treasures that only a grandparent can bestow.
In recognition of this injustice, organizations have been formed to protect the rights of grandparents and their grandchildren.
The Grandparents Rights Organization (GRO) was founded in 1984 by attorney Richard S. Victor. GRO began in Oak Park Michigan, but now has members all across the US and Canada. GRO members receive regular newsletters, where they can read about others in similar situations and learn what they have been able to do. Also, members receive an information package outlining what the grandparent’s rights are in their state or province. You can join GRO at the following website: www.grandparentsrights.org
Additional information on grandparent’s rights in Canada may be obtained by writing to:
Canadian Grandparents Rights Association
260-3631 No. 3 Road
Good luck Dinah. Hopefully one of these agencies will be able to direct you to the right place.
Next Week’s Column: AIDS, should you be tested?
E-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality: your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.