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Alaska should recognize grandparents' rights

Posted: January 6, 2012 - 9:44am

Grandparents' rights? Why are they not recognized here? When is the system going to wake up and see that there are a lot of good ones out there that would do anything to save and protect our grandchildren? I have seen children ripped out of the arms of loving family members and returned to bad situations only to be torn away again. You then have mental issues with these kids that can last for years on end. What a shame! Do you not see that you punish the grandparent by losing the children they love so dearly?

In a perfect world the bad parent would see they are in trouble and save the kids by handing them over to their parents. Here though bad parenting is rewarded by monthly checks, yearly dividends, and the earned income credit if they just hang onto the babies. Sad but true. Most times these children never benefit from these payments.The parent blows through the money and then the grandparents see to it the kids are fed and clothed. Yet in the eyes of the law we are nothing because we are just the grandparent. I bet our grandchildren don't see it that way. They are waiting for us to save them like always and the state tells us we don't matter.

Something needs to change here, please?

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cbeard 01/06/12 - 10:45 am

Grandparents' rights will never be fully defined nor upheld by any jurisdiction because domestic matters are far too complex and vary by each particular situation. Having grandparents raise children that are potentially being prevented from seeing their parents means that the children's parents lose ability to meet with their own parents. Cutting people off from their family by force, especially people with substance abuse problems, only makes the parents' problems magnify and substance issues will likely become worse.

This doesn't mean that grandparents and families have to meet them if they don't want to, but it's the responsibility of the grandparents and family to tell these people with domestic issues, to their face, that they do not want to have anything to do with them while they are ____., not pretend like it's the "government interfering" and let the parents believe there's nothing wrong at all.

Aside from that, grandparents are not ideal in most cases unless they have a stable income of size and have ample space ability to parent children to young adulthood beyond food and clothing (navigating early career choices, building healthy social circles, etc.). Just because grandparents are familiar faces doesn't make them the best family environment for young people, especially those in their early teen years. Children do not understand this because they're just children.

There are many examples of excellent grandparents with very high self-sufficiency and the ability to take in grandchildren without causing turmoil within the family (if that is a risk in that case), but there are too many counterexamples to warrant a sweeping legislative definition of the priority of grandparents over larger income-driven households.

rhespy 01/06/12 - 11:59 am
I can't comment in depth but

I can't comment in depth but Alaska does have Grandparents' rights laws and they do work, however its never easy. The current law is uniformed with other states and the current Supreme Court rulings.

For the record children grow up and can choose to live destructive lifestyles despite how they were raised and leave children in their wake who need someone to stand up for them and give them a voice. Not every case is pursued is for custody many more are for just visitation alone. Too often the grandkids are used to strike back at an ex spouse's parents.

The financial costs are staggering the emotional costs are even higher and should be considered before attempting a Grandparents' rights case. Even with that its hard to imagine the personal attacks, false allegations and nastiness that will be inflicted on you. Your family will be attacked and slandered and any week emotional point you have will be exposed. You will be called every name in the book and accused of everything under the sun.

coldinAK 01/06/12 - 03:08 pm

Is it cheaper for the foster care system to care for theses children? Who wants to cut these parents out of the lives of their children? Everyone deserves a second chance. To earn that second chance you have to be at the very least sober to visit your children.

northernlights 01/06/12 - 06:21 pm
Your letter is right on!

I know two cases right now as I write this where the mother has a complete screw loose. On meth on anything she can steal or barter for.She does not love her baby, she is completely annoyed that her daughter needs to eat and bathe, and cries. She has even admitted she cant stand the baby, but she gets a monthly check and free food. She is a disgrace. The worse part is her baby loves her extended family, her grandparents love that baby so much. When they get her they clean up all the stained rotten milk off her, give her some healthy food to eat and love her up. The mother gets jealous because the baby loves them and cries when the mother comes to get her. She been kicked out of womens shelters, burned her bridges because rules dont apply to her. Don't sugar coat this problem, its wide spread and horrible. One young lady who is my neice, has two kids, thank God my sister (the grandmother) had the money to get an attoreny to fight for parenting rights. Their mother was so burned out doing meth, her boyfriend spanking the girls. One time as he was beating the mother up in front of the girls, one ran, jumped out the window to the neighbors to call the police. Addicts dont care! Grandmother was awarded custody until she went to rehab and finished. Thats what it takes, is take away their kids, save those children from constant abuse. I dont care what any one else says, they do not and should not be with a parent while they are doing drugs.Free money in their pocket, escuse me, the children suffer and its all over the Peninsula.

alaskasgem 01/08/12 - 10:22 am
seems to me.....

IF the Gparents are fit to do the can be placed there already. Giving special rights would have Gparents suing for kids over petty reasons. I have seen more then one family where this problem would have happened, and the kids would NOT have been better off at all.

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