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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 32329
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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Do grandparents have legal rights to visit an adopted

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do grandparents have legal rights to visit an adopted grandchild in Indiana, up to what age:
JA: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Indiana. The child lives in Indiana. The grandparents live in Arkansas.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: Not formally.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The grandparents helped pay ($5000) to adopt this girl. The father and mother divorced after five years. The grandparents are being ignored by both the original mother and father. The child is 16 and I fear we won't see her again before she is old enough to refuse to see us. It's very sad.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

The law doesn't make any distinction between a biological grandchild and one related through adoption. A grandparent may bring a cause of action requesting visitation with a grandchild when they can show (a) that the parents are not married or that one of the parents is deceased, (b) a pre-existing relationship with the grandchild, and (c) that visitation is in the best interests of the grandchild. The fact that the parents are in agreement would present a barrier if they were still married, but it doesn't automatically preclude you from getting time when they're divorced.

Any visitation order would remain in effect until the child turns 18. She will be able to testify as to whether she wants to be able to see you because of her age, and the judge will consider her opinion.

The Indiana government does not make forms available online for this, possibly because it's a fairly new area of law (comparatively speaking). One option is to visit a law library and check out books to show you what a Complaint might look like. The other option is to hire a local attorney to help. Because the law tends to favor parents, that might make things a bit easier for you.

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Lucy, Esq. and 2 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Although no on will say so, it seems to me if the mother would like to discontinue any relationship of the fraternal grandparents and the child. The father has remarried, as has the mother. Both parents act as though the original family should be dismissed and the child only relate to the mother and her new husband. This badly disappoints the fraternal grandfather and me, the fraternal grandmother. We love the young lady and wish to keep her in our hearts and family circle. It is very hard to do living in Arkansas and the child in Indiana. Neither parent is encouraging her to relate to the grandparents. I don't know what to do without causing grief for the child. Advice, please.

That's very sad. I'm sorry that they're doing this.

The parents have the ability to decide that they want their child to be raised by only one of them after they separate. That doesn't affect a grandparent's ability to seek visitation. Neither does remarriage. If the father terminates his parental rights and the stepfather adopts them, that would entirely sever the relationship between the father, any of his relatives, and the child. At that point, his parents could not seek visitation. You didn't say which parent you're related to, so I'm not sure if that's an issue for you. But that doesn't apply unless or until an adoption occurs, and since the child is 16, they may not want to go through the time and expense.

There are unfortunately only two options here. One is to sue for visitation. The other is to send the child cards or letters, make contact through social media, and attempt to maintain your relationship that way until she turns 18. If the parents have prohibited those contacts, then you have to decide whether you want to go to court now or wait. Without knowing more about your relationship to the child, it's tough to know which would cause her more grief.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I have given the support five stars. Thank you very much!

You're welcome, and thank you! I hope things get better.