KANSAS CITY, Kansas - Kansas senators are considering giving grandparents new rights.
They would be given a voice in child custody courts. However, even
some advocates for the bill believe it is woefully inadequate.
In Joan Jordan’s living room, four grandparents sat close
together holding hands at times. It is a support group for people
who have lost the ability to see people they love.
“It was like someone just tore my heart out when they took
my children,” said Joan Jordan, a grandparent from Kansas
“We lost three (grandchildren),” said Kathy Winters,
Their grandchildren are in foster care. Legally, they can do
nothing about it.
Jordan fed and clothed four grandchildren for four years after
their parents lost custody because of drugs. Still, state case
workers took the children away.
“(The judge) said to us, ‘you’re disillusioned
if you think that you’re going to get these children, these
grandchildren because you’re too old,” Jordan said.
Enter Kansas Senate Bill 52. Though just a proposal, the bill
would make grandparents interested parties in custody cases.
Monday, Jordan and other grandparents lobbied for its approval. At
the same time, a number of parents are completely against it. Even
Jordan calls the bill inadequate.
“Senate Bill 52 only helps you when you have thousands of
dollars to go to court,” Jordan said.
Already, the Jordan’s have drained their savings trying to
bring their grandchildren home. So far, all it’s brought is
more heartache. Still, Jordan’s support group hopes the
proposed bill is the start of something better.