By Christine Crosby, Editorial Director, GRAND Magazine
I recently joined the Facebook group Grandparents Rights Association. This is an important movement in America to help grandparents have the legal rights to be in the lives of their grandchildren. I was motivated to join after reading several posts by this group and ten years of hearing heart breaking stories from grandparents who were left out in the cold when it came to having any rights to see their own grandkids. I remember the first story I heard from the founder of the National Committee of Grandparents for Children’s Rights. Her daughter and grandson lived with her and her husband for seven years from the time the child was born. The child’s father was totally absent in the life of the child until tragically, the mother was killed in a car accident leaving a large insurance settlemen to the child. Curiously, the father showed right up and demanded the child. He was literally ripped from the grandparent’s arms. Not only did these loving parents lose their only daughter, they lost their grandson all in the same week.
Sadly, these stories continue daily across our county. One such comment from a post on Grandparents Rights Association on Facebook motivated me today to share this with you. I’ve left off the name for obvious reasons. I hope after you read this, you’ll join join this page and offer your support whether or not you are struggling to see your grandkids today. Things could change and you don’t know when you too may find yourself left on the outside of your grandchildren’s lives.
From a recent post on the Grandparents Rights of North Carolina Facebook page:
“I am missing my grandson’s 3rd grade experience in spite of asking his father to please allow me to be a part of it. I miss picking him up, helping with homework, fixing his snacks, watching SpongeBob, reading bedtime stories, supporting his classroom fundraiser, getting school pictures, going to the Fall Festival, etc…. I don’t even know if I am allowed at his school. I enrolled this little boy in Pre-School, took him for every doctor appointment, every flu shot, dental appointment, participated in every event from Pre-School, Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd Grades, signed report cards, gone on field trips. And now I am simply dismissed, no longer of any importance and not worthy of the courtesy of conversation, communication in any form. I was however perfectly acceptable to raise and care for my grandson in every way for seven and a half years. No grandparent who has invested their heart so heavily deserves the disrespect in such a manner. At the least, I deserve structured access to my grandson. And he deserves that too.”
This group is growing fast. Here is a map of where they already have representation. If you are interested in being part of this movement, join their group today. https://www.facebook.com/groups/GRANC/