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Grandparents have limited legal rights to their grandchildren

The grandparents usually get to have all the fun with the kids and the parents call the shots. For the most part, this arrangement works out just fine. However, when parents make questionable decisions and the grandparents want to intervene or when the two parties become estranged, grandparents in Indiana may wonder if they have any legal rights.

Most grandparents feel surprised and disappointed when they find out that their rights are usually very limited. Parents are the ones who have the right to make decisions about their children.

If the children are being neglected or abused, protective services may remove them from the parent’s home. One of the main reasons why protective services may decide that children should be removed from the home of the parents is because of misusing substances. However, there are times when children are left in the home even though a parent misuses a substance. They may feel that the parent’s use of the substance is not presenting a danger to the children. Even though the grandparents may feel that they could provide a better home for the grandchildren, from a legal standpoint they usually are not able to take over.

The 2008 Fostering Connections Act states that adult relatives, including grandparents, have the right to be notified if children are removed from the home of their parents and have the right to participate in decisions regarding what will happen to the children. In this case, a grandparent may be able to foster the children. However, they are not automatically given special consideration.

Custody of children is different than grandparent visitation. An individual who is estranged from their child and wants to see their grandchildren may want to discuss their case with an attorney. The attorney might provide information about grandparent rights’ and what steps could be taken in order for them to obtain guardianship.