Recognition but still no rights for grandparents

Guardian (UK) 11 April 2011

Family justice review proposes grandparents should be included in contact agreements when relationships break down. The Grandparents’ Association receives 300 calls a month from grandparents about access to their children’s children. It reckons that 280,000 grandparents have no contact at all, and that up to a million children are consequently denied contact with their grandparents. So the family justice review panel’s proposals to streamline the system and bolster the role of grandparents when relationships break up are very welcome. The overarching aim of the Children Act 1989 was to put the interests of the children first – and that usually means maintaining contact with the extended family, including the parents’ parents. Unlike estranged parents, who have a right to go to the courts to seek contact with their children, grandparents have to seek the court’s permission to do so.