Hi everyone and welcome to Bristol Grandparents Support Group blog. Although we are Bristol based we have grandparents from all over the UK and beyond as members.

It is estimated that over one million children in the UK are denied contact with their grandparents due to family breakdown which may have been caused by divorce/separation, alcohol/drug dependency,domestic violence,bereavement or family feud.
Every child has the right to have contact with their grandparents
if they wish and unless proven unsafe for them to do so. To deny contact from a parent or grandparent has to become as socially unacceptable as drink driving.
I hope to keep you up to date with what is going on in BGSG and I shall continue to campaign for the rights of children to have a loving and meaningful relationship with both parents and their extended family. So please join in as good to hear your views, not just mine!
I also will support via Skype.
There is no membership fee to be part of Bristol Grandparents Support Group.
Esther Rantzen says, " To every grandparent, links of love can never be broken in our hearts."

Please contact during office hours.

Tuesday 3 December 2013

Should Grandparents Have Rights?

Once again this week I was talking about the rights of grandparents to see their grandchildren, it is a contentious subject.
As I have said before I really do have a problem with the word, rights.
It seems we live in a society that demands rights.
Fathers Rights, Women's Rights, Animal Rights, Welfare Rights, the list is endless and of course Human Rights.
Unfortunately there appears there is no alternative to that word, and so I have to use it.
When we are discussing family separation, in my view it is never about the rights of the adult but the consideration of the children.
Some grandparents and organisations feel the need to lobby their MP's for Grandparents Rights, and although I understand it, I honestly don't believe it will ever happen.
Apart from anything else we have just been through, and it is continuing through the House of Lords, slowly, a complete reform of the Family Justice System, it wont be looked at again for the foreseeable future.
When I am approached by desperate grandparents who want to start up petitions etc, who have been advised by an MP to start one, my heart sinks.
Of course they are doing it for all the right reasons but often  unaware that you need at least 100,000 signatures for it to get anywhere , and I am sceptical that it is not going to happen.
It is giving false hopes to heartbroken people.
If you actually look at petitions that have already been started over the last couple of years, I don't believe I have ever seen one with more than 100 signatures.
I do believe that a child has a right to their identity, to their family history but in the UK we have thousands of non resident parents who are denied contact with their own children, surely we have to put that right above all else?
If grandparents were ever given rights it would cause even more antagonism than there is already.
How would it effect the children?
They may well be living where alienation is occurring on a daily basis, so where would grandparents rights put them, they would be  in yet another impossible situation. They have to live the life they have been dealt, we might not like it, but that is the case.
They love their parents, they want to live a quiet life and quite rightly get on with the business of growing up,  if suddenly they were told by law that they had to have a relationship with their grandparents what would they do?
More arguments and upset in their young lives.
Do we want that for our grandchildren?
I don't.
As always this is only my personal opinion.

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