“To conclude, though I certainly wish I could tell you the opposite, it is my professional opinion based on the facts as you have presented to me and my research into the law that you do not have an argument for revocation of your consent to the adoption which will be successful.”
This is the opinion my daughter received from one of the lawyers we consulted about getting her voluntary consent to termination of parental rights revoked. After all this time, it is still painful to read.
When we realized the visits she was being allowed were always more about the adoptive parents wants and needs, and we were never going to be included, we consulted lawyers about getting visitation legally enforced as we, her natural grandparents, are the only ones who have the so-called right to ask. And before anyone starts saying, “but you are not her grandparents in the eyes of the law”, that’s not correct. A point I made to some lawyers. In the state our granddaughter lives in we are still recognized as her grandparents as this is a kinship adoption, but I believe it applies to other adoptions, as well. There is legal standing for us to pursue visitation. Quoting from research I conducted:
“Under â€œproperâ€ circumstances a natural grandparent may have right of visitation with one’s grandchildren, even after the adoption of the child”
“Domestic Relation Law “#” permits grandparents to seek visitation when one or both of the parents has died or when “equity would see fit to intervene.” Courts have interpreted â€œequityâ€ to give standing to grandparents who have had a relationship with their grandchildren or been thwarted by the parents from having such a relationship. Grandparents may seek visitation via DRL “#” even when both parents are united in opposition.”
The lawyers consulted in this state say we would not be granted visitation because there is no existing relationship with our granddaughter. We’ve not seen her since she was 5 days old. Her parents will not allow us to visit her, and we are confident they get rid of any communication or gifts we send her. The statute does state attempting to establish a relationship may be considered, but the lawyers consulted didn’t consider this option. Lawyers look at these situations and question, “Is this case winnable?” or “Is this case going to make me a lot of money?” Our situation says “no” to both questions.
Every lawyer we consulted also took the time to say, “Oh, I’m sure these issues will resolve themselves.” They do not realize the depth of animosity or the complete lack of regard our brother and sister-in-law hold for everyone, including our granddaughter, except for themselves. This egotistical behavior has endured for 3 years. I don’t anticipate the behavior ending.
I am sure the adoptive parents are aware of these laws and exclude us because they do not want us getting visitation. They are doing all they can to guard against our granddaughter ever knowing us.
We send requests to visit her approximately every 6 months. These requests are ignored or responded to with inappropriate rebuttal. “…you are not now, nor ever have been, nor will you ever be her grandparents….” gives you an idea of how the rest of that response went.
So, why, do you wonder, don’t we go ahead and pursue visitation? We claim we want a relationship with our granddaughter, but yet we are unwilling to pursue a judgement in court . I can also hear people questioning, “If you REALLY cared, you’d do anything regardless of the predicted outcome.” I wish the decision was that easy.
We seriously considered going this route regardless of what the lawyers predicted. We’ve not followed through because we cannot guess how fighting with our brother and sister-in-law will affect our granddaughter. Our main concern is always with her. We want visitation mainly for her benefit which has nothing to do with her parents, but they seem hell bent on making it all about them. We do not know what any of this will do to her emotionally. Their past actions and behavior prove beyond a reasonable doubt their interests lie with themselves. They refuse, or cannot, envision anything past their immediate future. Maybe they use my mother-in-law’s experience as an adoptee as “THE EXPERIENCE” because they do not appear to be considering any other outcome. Honestly, I’m sick to death of trying to figure out what they think or their motives. I only care in the sense that they block our granddaughter from knowing where she comes from. Something she has a right to grow up knowing.
How do I envision our visitation? I picture her natural mother and father and the rest of us enjoying uninterrupted time with her. Time we can spend alone with her getting to know all of us without being under the fearful, jealous gaze of her adoptive parents.
Isn’t this in her best interests?