Grandparents – do they have any rights at all?

In the ever increasing age of grandparents raising grandchildren, what rights do grandparents really have?  Do they have any at all?  What happens if grandparents have raised a grandchild for any length of time and suddenly a biological parent appears and wants to leave with the child?  There are many factors to consider.  Biological parents are typically considered the best custodians of their children.  However, this is a presumption that can be overcome by grandparents and other third parties, for example, by proving that the parents  are unfit or have abandoned the child.  Visitation, which is a completely separate issue from custody, is strictly governed by statute.  There are certain instances where grandparents can successfully petition for visitation rights with grandchildren, although grandparents’ visitation rights are not typically as frequent as those of a parent.


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