By Bob Rudolph
Washington State is the only state in the country that has no grandparents’ visitation rights, if a grandparent is unreasonably or unjustly alienated from the grandchildren by the parents. I emphasize unreasonable or unjustly alienated.
If there is a family situation where grandparents and the grandchildren’s parents have a squabble or disagreement, the grandchildren should not be used as pawns between the two parties. The parents and grandparents should try to work out the problems within the family, or go to counseling or a mediator.
If that doesn’t work then there should be some other remedy for the grandparents to turn to – that remedy is absent in Washington State. Grandparents Rights of Washington State (GROWS) is working to get a law passed to give grandparents standing in court to petition for visitation. This should be the absolute last method any family should resort to.
GROWS has been working on this issue for over eight years, as our original law was declared unconstitutional in June of 2000 by the Troxel decision. GROWS now has over one thousand members who are alienated from their beloved grandchildren and the list grows every day.
We DO NOT want to tell the parents how to raise their children, the parents’ rights are paramount. We grandparents’ just want to have visitation with our grandchildren. To that end we have Initiative 1431 that we are trying to get enough signatures on to get grandparents visitation on the November 2016 Ballot.
Please contact Grandparents Rights of Washington State at (253) 232-8927, firstname.lastname@example.org, or www.grandparentsrightsofwashingtonstate.org if you are in this tragic situation, would like to help or would like to sign initiative 1431. We desperately need your help to collect 300,00 signatures to give us the required 250,000 verifiable signatures.