ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) – https://www.myfoxorlando.com/story/27887151/should-grandparents-get-visitation-rights
The Florida Legislature will take a third try at granting grandparents and great-grandparents the right to visit their grandchildren if one of the parents has died, is missing, or is in a vegetative state. The bill means a great deal to Yvonne Stewart. She has not seen her twin granddaughters in two years.
“All I want now is visitation with them to make sure they are happy, and they are healthy and that they know that we love them.”
Stewart’s daughter is Michelle Parker, now missing for three years. Michelle Parker’s ex-fiance, Dale Smith, was the only suspect Orlando police investigators ever named in the case.
“I haven’t seen the twins in over two years. I’ve had zero contact I’ve tried and it’s been declined, and you know, the Dad moved out of the state of Florida, so it’s not like it would be real easy, but we could make arrangements.”
The bill is sponsored by State Sen. Joe Abruzzo, D-Wellington, and State Rep. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg. It would allow grandparents or great-grandparents to go to court and ask a judge for visitation rights on a case-by-case basis.
Stewart says the most important thing for her is to make sure the children know how much she and their grandfather love them, and to make sure the kids get to keep memories of their mother.
“They’re part of us, and that’s important. How can you just take that away from people, you know? You look forward to growing up and getting married. You look forward to having children, watching them grow up, and be happy, and then you look forward to having your grand children. That is a natural right.”
Florida legislators have shown favor to parents when it comes to issues about decisions on raising their children, so in year three, this bill may still have a difficult time getting through.
Yvonne Stewart believes this is the best shot that bill has ever had and plans to advocate for it fiercely.
If you want to join the fight for grandparent rights you might consider joining The Grandparents Rights Association of The United States of America. Visit them here: