If you are a grandparent seeking information and support with your challenge to be in the life of your grandchildren, then you need to know about Susan Hoffman and her non-profit organization, Advocates for Grandparent – Grandchild Connection, AFGGC. She lives in Newport Beach California where she is the director of AFGGC.
While Susan Hoffman’s story tugs at the heartstrings, it is not a sob story. The author has published a book about grandparents’ rights and how she was forced into action after the courts refused to let her petition for visitation with her only grandchild.
GRAND Wishes: Advocating to Preserve The Grandparent-Grandchild Bond, published by Collegare Press, is a touching and heartfelt collection of grandparent stories and self-help information. It is not only emotionally evocative, but also details Hoffman’s inspiring journey of self-discovery as she confronted the enforced alienation which spurred her into uncharted legislative and non-profit territory.
According to Carleen Brennan, co-author of Custody For Fathers: “Susan starts out a little like Danielle Steele, and before you know it you are treading into the legislation process.”
Hoffman became the target of alienation by the custodial parent, resulting in a separation from her grandson just a month short of her grandchild’s fifth birthday. Devastated and committed to supporting other disenfranchised grandparents, she started her own support group. That group developed into a non-profit organization, Advocates for Grandparent-Grandchild Connection. Bolstered by the ensuring support, Hoffman’s advocacy for preserving the grandparent-grandchild intensified into activism in the form of a bill which she lobbied for and sponsored.
Finally, after a year of petitioning and with the support of California Assemblyman Van Tran (R-Garden Grove), all 120 legislators unanimously agreed on the importance of the grandparent-grandchild relationship and passed California Bill AB2517, which was signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on August 22, 2006 and became law the following January.
Research indicated denying access to the grandparent-grandchild bond is a form of child abuse. Extended family relationships are crucial to a child’s development in every way, and denied visitations not only cause the grandparents to suffer, but equally harm the children as well.
Grand Wishes advocates that the special and deeply significant bond between grandparent and grandchild be preserved and revered, and details the inspiring story of a woman’s foray into the justice system to ensure that reality.
A Precious Bond is a 38 minute first-ever documentary film. It is an intimate view of the reality of the growing social problem affecting so many families. In the film you will meet real grandparents telling their stories and you will observe an actual support group in action. You will also meet some adorable grandchildren.
Disenfranchised grandparents are part of a growing population of loving grandparents unreasonably denied visitation with their grandchildren. The film is comprised of kids happily interacting with grandparents; children speaking fondly about their grandparents; grandparents speaking openly during support group meetings; individual grandparent interviews; a psychologist, a family law attorney and a legislator
Susan Hoffman Changed the Law In California (2007)
The Assembly bill AB 2517 allowing grandparents to petition the court for visitation, after a stepparent adoption, became law 1-01-07. You can access the bill by going to:www.leginfo.ca.gov , FAMILY CODE: 3100-3105 are the grandparent statutes, and this one is 3104 (b) 5. There was unanimous support and no opposition for AB 2517, drafted on behalf of all the children who no longer have access to their grandparents because of a stepparent adoption.
To contact Susan: [email protected]
or call her at 949-640-0399