Saturday, April 17, 2021

Denial of Grandparental Visitation Reversed in ‘Unusual Circumstances’

From The Indiana Lawyer:

Ruling in a case presenting “somewhat unusual circumstances,” the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a petition for grandparent visitation, finding the trial court had erred in determining the visitation would not be in the granddaughter’s best interests. The appeals court remanded for proceedings to establish a grandparent visitation order in the case.

J.I. is an 18-month-old whose mother consented to her adoption by the child’s aunt, Jessica McVey, after the Department of Child Services determined the baby was a child in need of services due to mother’s drug abuse problems. 

“While McVey is J.I.’s caretaker, she is not her legal parent. And even assuming that relevant documents have been filed to begin the adoption process, McVey has no fundamental right with respect to J.I. at this time because no adoption has occurred,” Altice wrote. “Our statutes contemplate that it is the trial court’s duty to determine what is in the best interests of a child, as Grandparents are at risk of losing all rights and visitation with J.I. if the adoption occurs."

Read more here.

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