Grandparents desperate for custody of grandkids

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 City, Kansas.

“We lost three (grandchildren),” said Kathy Winters, another grandparent.

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.

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