Public Comments for: SB1325 - Visitation; petition of grandparent.
Last Name: Cooper Locality: Pennington gap

I agree all grandparents should see and be a part of grandkids.

Last Name: Baker Locality: Wise

I’m a grandma to four beautiful granddaughters. I cannot imagine my life without them. I feel that anyone who loves their grandkids and want to be a part of their lives should have that opportunity. No child should be kept away from grandparents because of the death of a parent.

Last Name: Stanley Locality: Dickenson

My grandparents played such an important role in my life. Each child and grandparent deserve the right to be a part of each other’s life. Please pass this bill. Children’s voices need to be heard. Thank you for your consideration.

Last Name: Barnette Locality: Wise

This is so important to our family. We are raising our grandchildren. When someone looses their son, it shouldn’t mean they lose their grandson. I can’t imagine losing my dad and my grandparents all at okie. Please pass this law for our grandchildren. Warm Regards, Lou Barnette

Last Name: Meade Organization: Daxton's Law Locality: Coeburn

Although SB1325 is referred to as a bill to petition for visitation of a grandparent, I view it more as a grandchild's rights bill. It is my belief that every child deserves to feel loved, to feel a part of something bigger than themselves, to understand their family history and connections, and to feel safe, accepted, and supported by the people in their lives. This includes the grandparents of a child whose parent is deceased. When a grandparent is denied the opportunity to visit and be a part of their grandchild's life, the child may feel abandoned, confused, and cut off from a large segment of the love and support they previously experienced. Many times when the parents of a deceased child is not allowed to visit their grandchild, the child also loses contact with aunts, uncles, and cousins from that side of the family. Why should a child be denied this right...the right to have ALL the love and support possible in his/her life? With that being said, I fully support SB1325 and urge you to support it as well.

Last Name: Nicely Locality: Roanoke County

There is no greater fundamental relationship greater than a parent. Both parents play a vital role in the nurture, support, guidance and development of healthy children. The next great relationship is that of grandparents, which are equally as vital and sustainable in development. I can think of no greater loss to these amazing girls than the death of their father. Now more than ever those girls need love and guidance through their grandparents, to help sustain thier fathers love for them. It is truly the next natural extension to the missing link in their lives. Studies show the experiences, the knowledge, the love and relationships of both grandchildren and grandparents are a mutual effective and empowering relationship in our lives. Allowing this family the connection that has been missing for so many years is vital to the future of those girls, and the grandparents that are denied access to them. I can see no greater just action than to allow them regular visitations with their grandchildren. Thank you.

Last Name: McAuliffe Locality: Warrenton, Virginia

Grandparents play a major role in the emotional and social well being of children. Disrupting already established relationships may be devastating to both the children and the grandparents. Please pass this bill to provide grandparents an opportunity to simply demonstrate this relationship is in the best interest of the children and would have been the wish of a deceased parent.

Last Name: Harris Locality: Smyth

Please, I urge you to strongly consider passing SB1325. Grandparents deserve that opportunity to have a relationship with their grandchildren. Grandchildren deserve a voice. This is so important and not given enough attention.

Last Name: Jones Locality: Smyth

This matters. Grandparents matter. Those relationships are irreplaceable and should be protected and fought for.

Last Name: Rose Locality: Russell

I respectfully ask for this committee to pass SB1325 for the children, all the precious grandchildren that have been separated from loving, supportive and healthy Grandparents after losing a parent. We tragically lost our oldest son in Nov 2017 and subsequently lost all contact with his 3 beautiful daughters, our only grandchildren all because after a volatile divorce our ex daughter-in-law decided that their Dad’s family wasn’t important anymore. Our Granddaughters not only lost their Daddy they adored but their love and support, their connection to their Dad. All children deserve every bit of the love and support after losing a parent as it’s a very sad time of grief. SB1325 bill will allow Grandparents who have lost a child to present their case while respecting parental rights. It is right and fair for all involved. We were a vital part of our 3 Granddaughters upbringing, we supported, loved and cared for them and all of this love was ripped away from them after they suffered the loss of their Dad. This bill will allow the courts to take in consideration the deceased parents wishes in maintaining the Grandparent/grandchild relationship. Thank you for your support.

Last Name: Blankenship Locality: Salem

Too many grandchildren are being ripped away from the love of their grandparents due to ex-spouses using the grandchildren to seek revenge or to punish the grandparents. Grandparents are essential to molding our next generation and not all grandparents deserve punishment for a vindictive parent of a grandchild. I’ve seen it too many times. The grandchild and the grandparent take the brunt of the pain and suffering in the name of payback/hatred. Please let our good grandparents be a part of their grandchildren’s lives.

Last Name: Vaughn Organization: SB1325 Locality: Norton

I fully support passage of bill SN1325 dealing with visitation for grandparents. Grandparents should have the right to see their grandchildren. Grandparents are usually the ones called upon when parents need someone to watch their kids. A lot of times grandparents are the ones raising their grandchildren. I couldn’t even imagine my grandparents not being in my life. I think parents do this thinking it’ll hurt the grandparents. Yes it does but it actually hurts the grandchildren more. Grandchildren have a right to know their grandparents and to have a relationship with them. So I’m asking you to please pass this bill as I think it’s in the best interest of both grandparents and grandchildren.

Last Name: Blankenship Locality: Cliintwood

As a grandparent of 3 this battle has opened my eyes to a big problem that many grandparents in the state of Virginia are facing! I would like to offer my support and urge the passing of SB135. How many of you are grandparents? Can you imagine yourself in this situation through no fault of your own someone decides for you that you can’t see your precious grand babies! In many cases not only do you suffer the loss of your child but then you must lose your last link to them? And you have to wonder if that grandchild is being told you don’t want to see them or that you don’t love them! This child that has loss a parent now has another unexplained loss. Sometimes that is not the and I understand that also . I work In health care I have seen more than a few children being raised by their grandparents because of parents being unable for what ever reason drugs jail rehab, single parent that needs help getting on their feet . Whatever the case the grand parents are there when needed and deserve to have some rights!

Last Name: Collins Organization: AJC LAW Locality: Wise

GrandPARENTS bring stability, experiences of a passing generation, and a sense of belonging to grandchildren. Grandparents are motivated by love and well wishes for the next generation, who must carry on, in this our shared destiny. Grandchildren have a right to have a family tree which has not had half of its limbs chopped off. Heritage and roots are meaningful to our development as human beings. We learn from the experiences of those who came before. Please support SB1325. This bill is NOT about taking something away a surviving parent. This bill IS about, not taking something away from a precious child. Thank you for considering my input.

Last Name: Collins Organization: AJC LAW Locality: Wise

GrandPARENTS bring stability, experiences of a passing generation, and a sense of belonging to grandchildren. Grandparents are motivated by love and well wishes for the next generation, who must carry on, in this our shared destiny. Grandchildren have a right to have a family tree which has not had half of its limbs chopped off. Heritage and roots are meaningful to our development as human beings. We learn from the experiences of those who came before. Please support SB1325. This bill is NOT about taking something away a surviving parent. This bill IS about, not taking something away from a precious child. Thank you for considering my input.

Last Name: Abshire Organization: Daxton’s Law Locality: Haysi

Pass this law ,grandparents are a vital role in their life. I raised my oldest grandson from 6 months of age. I knowthe grandmother personally in this case , has she not suffered enough losing her son . Please for the sake of the children that can’t speak for themselves pass this LAW .

Last Name: Collins Locality: Dickenson

As a single father, I would want my parents to have a legal right to visitation if something happened to me! This bill is the right thing to do!

Last Name: Wyle Organization: Coalition for the Restoration of Parental Rights Locality: Monroe County (IN)

If this body is to direct judicial attention to key factors involved in a petition for grandparent visitation, those factors should include the overriding constitutional principle -- established by U.S. Supreme Court and Virginia Supreme Court case law -- that a fit parent has the fundamental right to determine the upbringing of his or her child, making the many decisions necessary for that most important of tasks. It must therefore be presumed, according to this precedent, that a fit parent's decision to limit or deny visitation between a particular grandparent and a particular child is in the best interests of that child. All other factors must be viewed in this light. Moreover, if this body is to list such other factors, they should include the impact on the custodial family, including other children in the custodial family, of a court-imposed visitation schedule. Such a schedule is often highly disruptive of family dynamics and priorities. It can leave children not included in the visitation order (often present in blended families) feeling undervalued and left out, with resultant damage in sibling relationships. It can interfere with cherished family customs such as annual vacations. And of course, it almost inevitably reduces the time the child can spent with his or her parents, and with less litigious relatives, outside the parents’ work hours. Court-imposed visitation can also make the continuation of the child’s extracurricular pursuits, from sports to music lessons to involvement in theatrical productions, more difficult or even impossible. Such interference can have long-lasting results on a child’s future, including the child’s educational prospects where scholarships are no longer attainable.

Last Name: Ervin Locality: Floyd County

I was surprised that this was even an issue; I don't think many people realize that this can happen to grandparents/grandchildren. Unless a grandparent causes physical or emotional turmoil in a child's life, why shouldn't they be allowed to have visitation? What kind of person would do that to a child and his/her grandparents? Is this done out of spite?

Last Name: Diamond Organization: Va Locality: Floyd

It is horrible to lose your grandparents.

Last Name: Vaughn Locality: Floyd

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Last Name: Jones Locality: Floyd

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Last Name: Robins Locality: Floyd, VA

pog bill

Last Name: Rose Locality: Lebanon

My husband and I ask that SB1325 be passed. We lost our oldest son tragically in 2017. He blessed us with 3 beautiful Granddaughters and they have been completely removed from our lives for 4 years now. We have been very loving and supportive Grandparents ever since our Granddaughters were born and we haven’t been allowed to see us or have any contact with us for 9 months before their Daddy died and for the 3 years and 3 months after he has passed. Grandchildren deserve the love, nurturing and affection that only Grandparents can provide. We filed a petition for visitation in 2018 and even though we had proof of being present, loving and supportive Grandparents in their lives, the burden of proof was still on us, as the current law states, to prove harm would come to our Granddaughters by not having us in their lives. This is a huge task for anyone to have to prove. Children need their Grandparents and passing SB1325 will improve the quality of life for many lives.

Last Name: Taulbee Organization: Grandparent Group Locality: Coeburn

I raise a great grandchild and I have been the only positive influence in that child’s life. This child would have been in foster care if not for me. However her parents could come in her life and take her away from me although I have now raised her to being a teenager. This would be detrimental for this child. Please consider the numbers of grandparent and great grandparents that are in similar situations as my own. Please consider the sacrifices that grandparents make for their grandchildren and stand in unison with the thousands of grandparents across the state that support one of the best bills that has ever been proposed to the VA General Assembly.

Last Name: Tyson Locality: Wise

I urge you to support bill 1325. Grandparents are integral part of children’s lives. My grandmother was very influential in my life and I cannot imagine I would be the person that I am without her influence. Seventy percent of children are raised now by a grandparent or great grandparent at my local primary school. Grandparents need the support of legislation to keep them in those children’s lives and not just a whim when it’s convenient for those parents. We need to protect them legally from being removed out of a child’s life. This is damaging and detrimental to children. We need to protect these most vulnerable individuals that do not have a voice. Again, please consider the influence of your own grandparents and imagine your life without that. We need to surround children with more love 💕 not less!

Last Name: Wilson Organization: SB1325 Locality: Norton

I asking that you pass this bill for grandparents to be able to have visitation rights for so many grandparents! Not only is it hurting the grandparents but the grandchildren who want so much ch to see each other denying this visitation is wrong on both ends. Heartaches so deep that it crushes the hearts of my he ones being denied the right to see their loved ones life is so Unpredictable that’s why I beg you to pass this bill to help what’s wrong and make it right in the lives of grandparents and grandchildren bring hearts together not put aside like they don’t matter because they truly do!! In our own lives our foundation can be so shaken by losing ones child and then not be able to visit their grandchildren and the grandchildren not be allowed to have the right to visit their grandparents hearts are broken to much because of this! Please vote yes to help make a Hugh change in the law that helps grandparents be involved in their grandchildren’s life’s , how amazing that would be , I ask agsin Please makes this law come to life for so very many people!!!

Last Name: Adkins Locality: Kingsport

I am writing in support of SB1325. I as a Grandmother can’t imagine not getting to be part of my grandchildren’s lives. Your children are part of you and if you lost them as they have the only thing that could ever help to heal is your grandchild. We love our grandchildren with all our hearts and they deserve to have the love of their family even if their parent passes away they need the love and support of their Grandparents.

Last Name: Rose Locality: Clintwood

I urge you to pass this bill, allowing grandparents to have rights to visitation with their grandchildren and the children to have rights to loving family support. I speak from my personal experience. My father died when I was 8 years old and my mother became addicted to opioids and other drugs shortly after my dad's death. My younger brothers and I were subjected to abuse and neglect during our mother's addiction. At times, I worried whether we would survive. My mother did a pretty good job of keeping us away from our grandparents because she knew I would tell them what was going on and they would step in to save my brothers and me. CPS utterly failed us. Local law enforcement utterly failed us. Both had received requests to check on us and there was at least 1 report of abuse and neglect made. Neither CPS nor any officer actually investigated the matter and it was all closed out as unfounded. Of course, I was about 11 years old at this time and nobody from either CPS or the law enforcement agency came to speak with me. I only learned that these requests and complaints had been made at a much later time. The system failed my brothers and me. We continued to be beaten, suffer neglect, and had to experience other things I wish I could burn from my memory. But do you know who didn't fail us? Our grandparents. One day, I was finally able to tell my maternal grandmother everything that had been going on and all that was being done to us. She got us out of there and saved us. Not CPS, not law enforcement...my grandmother saved us. It petrifies me to think what could have happened to us if I wasn't able to get word to my grandmother and/or she wasn't able to get us out of that horrible situation. My mother kept us away from our grandparents and other family as much as possible during that time, just to hide the abuse and neglect we were suffering and to keep people from knowing about it. My grandmother had tried to have CPS and law enforcement check on us, but she was told grandparents have no rights to their grandchildren and if our mom wanted to keep us away, then there was nothing that could be done. Even the reported abuse and neglect complaint was cleared with only a phone call as unfounded. So, I urge you, please pass this bill. It very well may save a child's life. Thank you.

Last Name: Karshner Locality: Abingdon

When the hatred towards me from others trickled down to my children and our bond was severed, it also severed the bond for my father. He is the most loving grandfather, he has paid for anything that I could not provide on my own for the children. He is an amazing man, both in his career as a partner in a SWVA law firm and as a ballroom dancer. For years he took my daughter to the father daughter ball and has taught her how to dance. He’s been to all of their events, PTA meetings, award ceremonies, school lunches, band recitals, family traditions , and was an active help in driving them to their practices and even grandchildren sitting when I had to work. The smiles he brought to their faces throughout the years has been priceless. There is no love or bond quite like the ones with grandparents. It breaks my heart that my father has been cut off bc of the control and manipulation of the other side of their family. My mother and stepfather are now allowed to see the children but at first they were completely cut off. She has to play their game of manipulation to see her grandchildren. The relationship the children had with her was a magical one and now it is one that is controlled by what this parent wants and not what the children would want. I have several friends who have lost their grandchildren when their own child died and the other parent took advantage of the laws in place to cut them out of the children. I can not imagine my life full of memories of my loving grandparents. I can not imagine how much my own children are truly missing out on now with me pushed from the picture. Children should have rights to know their family and grow healthy and fulfilling relationships with them. Especially if they have lost their own child. Please consider making amendments to the laws that keep families separated and broken. Grandparents are one of the most invaluable parts of our life and a huge part of what shapes us into who we are.

Last Name: Holmes Locality: Clintwood-Dickenson County

We have been denied any contact with our 4 year old grandson for the last 3 years after the suicide of his father - our son. Not only is he missing out on a relationship with us, his grandparents, he is also missing out on a relationship with his half brother (from our son’s first marriage). Up until our son’s suicide, we had a good relationship with our grandsons mother, so we are at a loss as to why she cut off all communication with us. We went to court to try to get visitation but were told that we had to prove that our grandson was being harmed from not having contact with us. How is that even possible for a 1 1/2 year old to express a desire to have a relationship with his grandparents and/or his half brother. This is so unfair. We feel that we have so much love to give to our grandson. Not only did we lose our son to suicide- we have also lost our grandson! Will he ever know how much we love him? Please help us!

Last Name: Jesses Organization: Daxton Law Locality: Pound

What should be the rights of law abiding and upstanding grandparents are taken away on a daily basis by individuals (parents, grandparents, other family members) because of their own individual dislike for the other set of grandparents. This needs to stop. The children don't understand and are often misled. Walls are built which leads to more hatred and anguish that only hurts the children.. Please I beg you to pass this bill for all the children being done wrong because of adults with unhappy hearts.

Last Name: Stewart Locality: Dickenson

I am asking for support of SB1325 in its entirety. I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child, but adding the additional loss of a relationship with a grandchild is unfathomable. A child needs and deserves all of the love and support they can get, especially as they try to cope with their grief. As I walk down memory lane with my only child, I am always touched by the stories she tells of my mother and father, and what an irreplaceable part of her life they were. It was the little things - like working in the garden and canning tomatoes - that bring joy to her heart. Even though she lost them in her early teenage years, their positive loving influence cannot be diminished. I wish for every child to be able to have those loving memories of their grandparents. I especially wish that for children who have lost a parent, because they need that love and support even more. I ask you to please vote in favor of SB1325 to help grandparents and grandchildren spend time together and make their own beautiful memories. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Last Name: Fields Locality: Haysi

I respectfully ask that you consider passage of bill SB1325. It is my opinion that the grandparent relationship is very important in child rearing. This is a very special level of security for the child. In the case of losing a parent and then losing contact with their grandparents, the child will suffer more unnecessarily through no fault of their own. In fact, I would consider this to double the hurt from the loss. This is especially true when the grandparents have been an integral part of the child’s life up to that point and there is proof of that. The focus is what is best for the child. Passage of this bill is so very important on many different levels to protect the child or children from undue hurt and to maintain that special bond that has been formed. Thank you.

Last Name: Ball Organization: Grandparents Rights Locality: Church Hill

I 100% support Daxton's law, SB1325. Please vote yes to grant grandparents visiting privileges with their grandchildren. It is imperative that grandchildren have visitation and communication with their grandparents. They play a vital part in a child's life. Grandchildren should be allow to continue a bond with their grandparents.

Last Name: Diane Wilson Locality: POUND

I urge you to please pass this bill so our grandchildren can have a voice .

Last Name: Bise Locality: Wise

Please vote yes on bill 1325. I am a grandmother raising my only grandchild. And what a blessing it is. I think about what if the situation was reversed. What if we couldn’t be a part of each others’ life. How devastating it would be for both of us. It is a cruel act to withhold love and socialization from a child and a grandparent. A child without a grandparent misses out on so much knowledge . And if that child is kept from grandparents as a child it will truly affect him as an adult. A person deserves to know where they come from so they can get to where they need to be as an adult. Please consider this bill and let these grandparents /children bond. Thank you.

Last Name: Christian Locality: Russell, Castlewood

I 100% support Daxtons Law. SB 1325 means a lot to me personally. I am a childhood friend of Daxtons grandmother and you couldn’t ask for a better person. This is such a tragedy to begin with and for her to be kept from her only grandson is uncalled for. I am also a grandmother of only one grandson. It’s heartbreaking to here story after story of grandparents being kept away for selfish reason. There needs to be laws in place to prevent this from going any further. Please please pass this Bill. No child needs to robbed on unconditional love and support and in a lot of cases , a soft place to land. Grandparents need right. Daxton needs his grandmother and to know how much his father truly loved him. He has a right to know his heritage. Once again, I am asking for this bill to pass and many grandparents like this a voice. He lost his father , he doesn’t need to loose his grandmother too.

Last Name: Elswick Locality: Buchanan

Please vote YES on HB 1325. As a grandparent I can not imagine being denied visitation with my grandchildren. The unconditional love, and stability that Grandparents offer their grandchildren is priceless. All grandchildren deserve to know their family and learn about their heritage. All parents need the security of knowing if something happens to them their children will not suffer additional loss of their family! Please pass HB 1325 in its entirety for grandparents and the children.

Last Name: Collins Organization: AJC LAW Locality: Wise

Please vote YES on HB 1325. Every year people spend millions of dollars to discover and learn about their ancestory. Little children should not have to experience the joy of having a grandparent in that manner. As fulfilling as DNA and ancestry research may be, it will never warm a heart or tummy, as much as grandmother's cookies or a ride on grandpa's tractor. Grandparents have a lot to offer their grandchildren. Perhaps, grandparents have no legal obligation to their grandchildren, but they certainly have a moral obligation, born of love, great compassion, and the desire to see the little ones thrive and succeed. The proposed Bill does not diminish the fundamental right of a parent to raise their child. It simply recognizes that children have rights too, being the right not to have their heritage canceled, and the right to have loving grandparents. The passage of this Bill has the potential to clarify and create uniformity in the application of the existing visitation statute in Virginia as it applies to grandparents. Thank you for your kind consideration of this Bill, it means so much to many.

Last Name: Stanley Locality: Dickemson

Please give a lot of consideration in passing this. Grandparents play such an influential part of a child’s life. Every child should have the right to know their grandparents.

Last Name: Reece Organization: Grandparent Rights Locality: Wise

Growing up in this area is great because grandparents can play a vital role in lives. My niece was raised by her grandmother. Her parent were divorced and her mother was able to be present a-lot due to her work schedule. My niece would have been lost without my mother her grandmother raising her because parents were unavailable to raise her like we were raised. Many kids depend on their grandparents for stability especially if there is an absent parent. Please pass this bill for the sake of our children. Our children needs their grandparents. Parent don't always make the best decisions and grandparents need to be present.

Last Name: Reece Organization: Grandparent Rights Locality: Wise

Growing up in this area is great because grandparents can play a vital role in lives. My niece was raised by her grandmother. Her parent were divorced and her mother was able to be present a-lot due to her work schedule. My niece would have been lost without my mother her grandmother raising her because parents were unavailable to raise her like we were raised. Many kids depend on their grandparents for stability especially if there is an absent parent. Please pass this bill for the sake of our children. Our children needs their grandparents. Parent don't always make the best decisions and grandparents need to be present.

Last Name: Looney Organization: Grandparents Rights Locality: Dickenson

Please vote and support SB1325 in its entirety. As a retired middle school teacher, parent, and grandparent, I urge committee members to consider the value of interaction between nurturing grandparents and their grandchildren. This relationship becomes even more important when a parent is deceased or otherwise deemed incapable of being in a child’s life. The role of a loving grandparent(s) in children’s lives is invaluable to a child. On behalf of the children, please be the voice of change in the current law. Respectfully, Mary Kathryn Looney

Last Name: Rife Locality: Dickenson

I want to say I fully support Bill 1325. I had the honor of being raised by my grandmother. Due to divorce my 3 older brothers and myself lived with our grandparents starting when I was 4 years old. Believe me a child needs their family on both mothers and fathers side. Especially after something traumatic. A loss of a parent or divorce. They need to see all their family loves them and wants them. My oldest brother had one son. When his son was 21 years old he was killed in a hunting accident. He left behind a one month old son. If it had not been for that little boy my brother, his grandfather would have never survived. Grandparents need their grandkids as much as the kids need them. I can’t believe this is not a law already. Please give them the rights to be a big part of their grandchildren’s lives.

Last Name: Marshall Organization: All grandparents. Locality: Big Stone Gap

Members of the committee I am sending this letter, asking and praying you will pass the grandparents rights law SB 135. I have not seen my grandson since the day he had to testify in court on behalf of his father. Who shot and killed my daughter. This has been the worst thing anyone could have to deal with in their life, please vote yes on the bill SB1325 thank you

Last Name: Blanken Locality: Lee County, VA

In today's society, we have many grandparents raising their grandchildren (and even great grandchildren), since the children were newborns. We ask these people to come forward at times of crisis to support the child; however, we do not have the laws to protect their rights. Families consist of more than a single couple and their children living under the same roof in today's world. Families are diverse and we need to change with the world we live in. If grandparents' rights aren't protected, we may see a backlash in the community of grandparents afraid to become involved in the lives of these children, when we so desperately need them. We need to support them, the love they share, and the dedication and commitment to these children before we lose their support.

Last Name: Neese Locality: Washington

I am writing this evening to give my full support behind SB1325. I could not imagine my life without my grandparents and the life values and the love they showed me along the way. Growing up, I had a sick mother that spent numerous weeks within the hospital, meaning our father was with her providing care. With both parents gone, my grandparents provided care for myself and my sister. They fed us, helped us with school work and provided us the support we needed with our parents being absent at times. Without a doubt, grandparents play a vital role in the lives of their grandchildren. This bill allows courts to take into consideration the expressed consent, as proven by the grandparents, the wishes of the deceased parent in maintaining the grandparent/grandchild relationship. If something were to happen to me, I would want my parents to maintain a strong relationship with my children. Please pass SB1325 in its entirety; this is a bipartisan bill that allows grandparents to make their case without infringing upon parent rights. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Last Name: Smith Locality: Bristol va

I believe grandparents should have every right to see their grandkids if there are not any evidence of abuse

Last Name: Matthews Locality: Abingdon

Members of the Committee: I send this note today in support of Senate Bill 1325 and respectfully ask that unanimous consent be given to the Bill in this committee. Grandparents are such an important part of a child's life, especially when the parent is deceased. If the surviving parent does not allow the grandparents to spend time with the grandchild, one half of that child's familial history is being erased. I look back fondly on my youth and reminisce on the many many days that I got to spend with my grandparents. The things they taught me by just being part of my life are innumerable. Their love has stuck with me as I have grown into an adult. Part of who I am is because of my grandparents. It would be a shame for the surviving parent in the case of the death of the other parent to deprive their children of that experience. Thank you for your consideration in this matter. Respectfully yours, Joe Matthews Abingdon

Last Name: Vaughn Locality: Christiansburg

Please consider passing this bill in support of grandparents' visitation rights with their grandchildren. I am eternally grateful to have had a close relationship with my grandparents throughout my life. I cannot imagine anyone denying that opportunity to a child when the grandparents are loving and supportive of their grandchildren. As an educator, children, especially children who have undergone trauma, need a positive relationship in their lives. A positive relationship with one's grandparents can help in the healing process for a child. I urge you to pass this bill in its entirety!

Last Name: Trent Locality: Wash. Co

We are the grandparents of two amazing girls which are 10 and 13 years old as a parent of two kids ourselves a boy and a girl a daughter and husband chose to live with us newly married her still in college him finding his career they became mom and dad I’m selves we also became parents again several years ago We receive the worst news your daughter has cancer and a short time to live almost immediately daddy leaves the mom and the two girls granddaughters for another woman now his wife this illness let her to go to Florida for hope and they care for cancer our journey lead us to spend weeks sometimes months over 200 flights back-and-forth over 2000 treatments of chemo and several operations many days in the hospital we took you and those two girls provided every Way went home so they was in school sports church anything that comfort them and made them happy on November 24, 2019 a daughter went to be with the Lord that night the dad came to pick up the girls we lost three that night so did the two girls To a man that was never a true dad into a woman that tells them don’t have no kids don’t want no kids or I would’ve had my own the girls love was with their grandparents through all the times of sickness through all the tears is this bill what’s right for the grandparents or is this bill what’s right for the kids the kids needs to have love as my daughter always said God‘s got this you need to pass this bill let the kids grow up to where they know they are loved thank you

Last Name: Aylor Locality: Christiansburg

I am writing this evening to give my full support behind SB1325. I could not imagine my life without my grandparents, and I think about them every single day. Even though three out of the four of them have passed on, I still carry with me the lessons they taught me, the morals they instilled in me, and the love they showed me. Without a doubt, grandparents play a vital role in the lives of their grandchildren. This bill allows courts to take into consideration the expressed consent, as proven by the grandparents, the wishes of the deceased parent in maintaining the grandparent/grandchild relationship. If something were to happen to me, I would want my parents to maintain a strong relationship with my children. Please pass SB1325 in its entirety; this is a bipartisan bill that allows grandparents to make their case without infringing upon parent rights. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Last Name: Price Locality: Washington County

My wife and I have the great fortune of being grandparents to three beautiful grandchildren. We cared for our grandchildren over many years beginning with each of their births. My wife and I experienced a tragic loss almost four years ago with the loss of our son / step-son, the children’s father. Our ability to continue our relationship with the children ended shortly after his death. Grandchildren should have access to their grandparents. Obviously, grandchildren have no ability to petition courts for this access, and because of this, it becomes the grandparent’s responsibility and obligation to do so. Virginia permits grandparents to seek visitation with grandchildren, but an incredibly high bar has been set in that actual harm has to be proven in order for courts to consider awarding visitation rights. This harm standard is not clearly defined. Our son / step-son no longer has the ability to make his wishes known, which we have no doubt would have been for the continuation of our access to his children. Our petition for visitation has been heard in court, but due to the harm factor, we have been denied access. The goal of SB1325 is to allow special consideration for grandparents who seek visitation with grandchildren after the loss of a child. This bill will not infringe on the rights of parents and maintains federal statutes. Research supports that grandparents play an extremely important role in the lives of their grandchildren, especially when the grandchildren have lost a parent. The passing of SB1325 will provide this chance to deserving grandparents and grandchildren.

Last Name: Lawson Locality: Washington County VA

Please pass SB1325 in it’s entirety. This bill allows the opportunity for the grandparents to present their case, while preserving the rights of the parent.

Last Name: Trent Locality: Washington

We urge this to be passed so we can see our grandchildren

Last Name: Robert Locality: Washington County

My grandparents were a big part of my life while I was growing up. Fishing with my grandpa while my dad was at work, stopping on my way home from school for some of grandma's cookies, etc. All children need to interact with grandparents that love them. Please pass this bill for the sake of the children!

Last Name: Carter Locality: Washington County, Va/

For 8 years we were the stability and home for our grandson who at the age of 11 was removed from our home when our son married. For 12 of the 14 months of his marriage, we were not allowed any verbal, physical, or written contact. Neither was the child allowed contact with any other friends or family. He was traumatized by his father's behavior. Due to our son's poor choices, he had to return him to our care and we have shared custody, If he was to regain full custody he would do the same thing again. The courts should consider all circumstances and make it mandatory that visitation can not be withheld from grandparents when they have acted as custodial parents. Please pass this bill for the rights of children and grandparents.

Last Name: Jones Locality: Washington County VAI

I think the GRANDPARENTS should have the right to have visitation rights with their grandchildren's.

Last Name: Anderson Locality: Washington

I am a retired school administrator with over 42 years in education. I've had the joy of seeing the positive impact grandparents have on their grand children. I've also witnessed the devastation on children when they have been removed from the influence and support of their grand parents. Children thrive when they have grandparents in their lives. They feel secure and happy with these established relationships. SB 1325 would allow grandparents to provide proof to a court of these relationships and what is in the best interest of the children. Please pass SB 1325 in its entirety; this bipartisan bill is greatly needed for our children and the future of the Commonwealth. "Nothing you do for our children is every wasted. "

Last Name: Campbell Locality: Saltville

Please pass this bill. Grandparents were an important part of my childhood. I remember going to the farm with Granddaddy and feeding the cows, pulling worms from the tobacco plants. I gotta nickel for each one I pulled.This bill would help children who have lost a parent to connect with that particular set of grand parents and enrich their lives.

Last Name: Davenport Locality: Washington

Grandparents have always and will continue to play a very important role in the lives of their grandchildren. This bill would allow the possibility of maintaining this relationship upon the death of a parent while protecting the rights of the living parent. Please pass SB1325 in its entirety.

Last Name: Matheny Locality: Albemarle County

My grandparents were a tremendous presence in my life. I can't imagine my life without their love and support. I was not as close to my fathers parents but, still have fond memories of them and wouldn't trade that relationship for anything. As a parent, having my son know, and form strong bond with other family is so important. It is extraordinary for a child to be loved by family other than their parents. Why would anyone want to cut off the live and support of grandparents.

Last Name: Jones Locality: Louisa

“This is a bipartisan consensus bill that respects parental rights, while allowing grandparents with special circumstances, to make their case; it’s fair for everyone.” “Grandparents play a vital role in children’s upbringing, and should be allowed the opportunity to present their case, while preserving the rights of the parent.” “This bill allows courts to take in consideration the expressed consent, as proven by the grandparents,  the wishes of the deceased parent in maintaining the grandparent/grandchild relationship.” “I cannot imagine not having my grandparents in my life as I grew up.” “Please pass SB1325 in its entirety; this is a bipartisan bill that allows grandparents to make their case, without infringing upon parental rights.”

Last Name: Hutchinson Locality: Washington

Because of my personal background, I urge you to pass Senate Bill 1325 in the House of Delegates to improve Virginia’s laws on grandparent visitation. My mother passed away when I was eleven years old; I had always been close to both my grandmothers, and spent a great deal of time with each of them. Both of these wonderful women enriched my life immeasurably. Thankfully, my father was completely supportive of my continuing to spend time with my maternal grandmother and extended family. My aunts and uncles invested time and attention in my future. I spent many hours and days with my dear cousins, and still maintain contact with them. Please consider the harm of depriving children of these significant influences and relationships; I know my life is one which was shaped and improved by the love and interaction with my entire family, and would wish the same for every child.

Last Name: Druzba Hicks Organization: Jo Matheny Locality: Charlottesville

Grandparents should be allowed time with their grandchildren. It should be an agreed and scheduled time. Not for grandparents to over step any boundaries.

Last Name: Kaurish Organization: Grandparents Rights Locality: Washington

We have neighbors who's only daughter died November 24, 2019 after 6 years of fighting cancer (They have a son but he has no children). She had custody of her 2 children from her former marriage. Almost all of their entire life was spent living with their grandparents. One of the grandchildren is 13 and the other one is 10. Both of them are girls and loved living on the farm where their grandparents live. They had their pets that they took care of plus loved taking care of baby animals when the parent of the animal would die. Every time they would get a new pet, they would call me and my husband to come to see their new pet. They were almost like our grandchildren. We have been very close to these neighbors and they have both worked for us during various times through the years. We are not related to them but sometimes it seems, as if we are, because of the bond we share with them. We are 74 and 76 years old and realize the importance that these grandparents role in their grandchildren's life. Last year in October, 2020 their daughter's ex-husband (father of these children) told the grandparents that they could not ever see the grandchildren. This was devastating to the grandparents and also their whole family. I was so upset that I did not know what to do because I have grandchildren, who I see on a regular basis, and would not know what to do, if I could never see them. Our neighbors were also very upset with him not letting them visit with their grandchildren. After their mother passed, when he (the ex-husband) needed a baby sitter, the grandparents would baby sit the children and was very happy to have their grandchildren in their home. I have never known any more grandparents that cared more for their grandchildren than this set of grandparents. I have know these people for over 40 years and they are one of the most well liked families in this county. Their daughter flew to Florida sometimes almost every month for treatments for this cancer. The grandparents paid for her, the grandchildren, and the grandparents to fly down there for a lot of these treatments or surgeries. My husband and I traveled down there on two different occasions when their daughter was having surgery. Those grandparents were there every time and if the children were in school, one of them stayed home to take care of the grandchildren or one of the other family members. Please pass this bill for grandparents such as these to be able to see their grandchildren. Thank you.

Last Name: Faidley Locality: BRISTOL

I consider myself very fortunate to have grown up knowing my maternal and paternal grandparents, especially being raised in a split home. I even had the joy of bonus grandparents on both sides of my family. Growing up, my maternal and paternal grandparents lived 5 hours away. If my mom went to see her parents, she always made sure to allpw us time with my fathers parents and vice versa. I would not be who I am, or where I am today without the added love and support of my grandparents and bonus grandparents. I currently have a bonus son. His mom lives 6 hours away, but his maternal grandmother only lives 1.5 hours from us. We meet her half way anytime she wants to see her grandchild, and allow her to talk to him anytime. Raising children truly takes a village, and grandparents are a huge asset in that village. Children need all the love and support they can get, especially this day and time.

Last Name: Jones Locality: Louisa

I was blessed to be raised by my grandparents and my Mother. They took care of me by giving me love and support while my mother worked. From them I also learned my family history and feel I would not be the person I am today had it not been for them. I ask that you please pass this bill so that all children can experience the type of relationship that I did. It will truly enhance the type of person they become. Parents should not feel their rights are violated by allowing grandparents to be a part of their children’s lives.

Last Name: Faidley Locality: Washington

I feel it is very important for grandchildren to be able to spend time with their grandparents. Grandparents see their grandchildren as an important part of their legacy. Through this close relationship grandchildren are able to gain historical and life living perspectives that they will always be able to use.

Last Name: Stanley Locality: Roanoke County

Grandparents are very important when it comes to a child’s upbringing. When children are being raised they need their grandparent’s love and affection. I cannot imagine not having my grandparents in my life as I grew up.Please pass SB1325 in its entirety; this is a bipartisan bill that allows grandparents to make their case, without infringing upon parental rights.

Last Name: Griffin Organization: Friends Locality: Washington County

I beseech you to please pass this bill for grandparents to have visitation with their grandchildren. My friend's son, who was also a VA State Trooper, committed suicide much to the happiness of his wife. Now his wife will not let his parents see the children, even in ballgames. These grand parents can offer the children so much love and want to. This lady is not only hurting the grand parents, she's hurting the children. Please do the right thing. Most of you either are now or will be grandparents, so please put yourselves in their shoes. Thank you.

Last Name: Moore Locality: Washington Co

I think grandparents should be permitted to spend time with their grandchildren. They need all the love and support of all family members. If a parent passes away or for some reason is not in the children's life grandparents or grandchildren should not be punished by not being allowed to be a part of their life. A parent should not be permitted to make the decision to keep them apart unless there is concern of a dangerous situation that could cause harm to the children. It seems like agencies don't take these concerns very serious as you hear of cases everyday. I have a loving relationship with my grandchildren and can't imagine the heart ache of not being able to share love ,companionship n quality time with them. Grandparents have a whole different world to share with them. Our children are our future and with guidance from us it can be very rewarding for children n grandparents Parents should realize the damage they are doing to a child who loses one parent and then grandparents to. They should never be put in this position. God gave us children to love protect, and teach and in return be loved and protected and cherished. Please consider this and vote to change this , allow grandparents to have visitation and a part on the lives of our precious future. Thank you

Last Name: Martz Locality: Charlottesville

My mom's parents lived ten minutes from my house growing up; my dad's parents lived seven. I saw both sets of grandparents at least once a week--at church, to be babysat, or to watch UVA basketball or Washington football. Their love and light in my life enriched my upbringing by providing an extra layer of nurturing, acceptance, and guidance for me as I grew up. My bond with them was uniquely unconditional and vitally important to my sense of self. SB1325 allows grandparents faced with tragic special circumstances an opportunity to preserve the grandparent/grandchild relationship, while preserving the rights of the parent at the same time. I urge you to pass SB1325 in its entirety.

Last Name: Cole Organization: Grandparents rights Locality: Damascus Va

I believe grandparents should have a right to see their grandchildren and be a part of their life. I cannot imagine suddenly not being able to spend time with my grand kids. But I have seen it happen and it is not fair to the grandchildren or the grandparent. Don’t silence the child. Give them a voice and grant grandparents visitation rights.

Last Name: Tran Locality: Richmond

Grandparents play a major role in the emotional and social well being of children. Disrupting already established relationships may be devastating to both the children and the grandparents. Please pass this bill to provide grandparents an opportunity to simply demonstrate this relationship is in the best interest of the children and would have been the wish of a deceased parent.

Last Name: Allison Organization: Grandparents Locality: Wasgington

I believe that grandparents should have the right to see their grand kids. In the case of a deceased parent the grand parents should have every right to see their grandchildren. When the grand child has been apart of their life and then suddenly ripped away from them this is wrong. A grandparent should not loose this child and then loose their grandchildren too all because the living parent doesn’t want them to see them. This is devastating to a child when they want to see their grandparents. The child’s wishes should be taken into consideration. Please pass a law giving grand parents visitation rights.

Last Name: Sutherand Locality: Abingdon

I lost my wife of 58 years in October and my grandchildren come by and visit mr weekly. It doesn’t replace my lost wife but it does help the burden of the loss. I cannot imagine not being able to see my grandchildren and I don’t think it’s right to keep a grandparent from their grandchildren - please strongly consider this bill as one of the most important bills you will vote on. Thank you for your consideration for this bill.

Last Name: Burchett Locality: Smyth

Growing up I only really knew one grandparent. Two died before I was born and one died when I was very young. However, my grandmother played such a vital role in my life. Some of my best childhood memories include her. There is a connection between grandparent and grandchild that exists only in that relationship. The deprivation of that from any child or grandparent is a travesty of that bond.

Last Name: Delmont Locality: Vienna

Families are complex. Kids do better when they have love in their lives, and the more people involved in their lives with the kid's best intentions at heart the better. It seems reasonable that a court would be able to assess if adding visitation from grand parents would be in a child's best interest. Courts already have a system in place to make these sorts of evaluations so there shouldn't be too much hardship for the State to make this change. If a parent dies, a child shouldn't necessarily be kept away from a whole half of their extended family.

Last Name: Massey Locality: Washington

I cannot begin to imagine not being able to see my grandchildren! Mine are the joy and light of my life! Think about what your grandchildren mean to you. There needs to be a change made here! I know firsthand what it means not to have grandparents in a life. It’s devastating. Three of mine passed away before I was born so needless to say, there was a big void in my life. I made sure my children knew their grandparents and had a meaningful relationship with them & I try to play an important part in my grandchildren’s lives.

Last Name: Thomas Locality: Abingdon

We are the grandparents of three grandchildren and we cannot imagine our lives without them. We know they have been a vital part of our lives but we also feel like we have been an important part of their lives. We feel like as grandparents we can not only help with everyday things but also feel like we can help nurture them because of our life experiences. I ask you to please pass bill Sb1325. Thank You!

Last Name: Holman Locality: Washington County, VA

This bill allows courts to take in consideration the expressed consent, as proven by the grandparents, the wishes of the deceased parent in maintaining the grandparent/grandchild relationship.

Last Name: McAllister Locality: Washington

As someone whose life has been positively influenced by my relationships with my grandparents from birth through adulthood, I find it disheartening that this relationship can so easily be severed simply by the death of a parent. I believe children should have a choice in the decision, and the grandparents should be given a legitimate opportunity to prove their established relationship with their grandchildren. Please, unanimously pass this bipartisan bill!!

Last Name: Farris-Luke Locality: Washington

As a grief educator and counselor for 29 years, I have witnessed first-hand the trauma that occurs when children and grandparents are kept apart following the death of the kids’ parent. I imagine the same challenges arise in the case of divorce and other separations in families. While I under the importance of respecting parental rights, there often are not valid reasons for prohibiting grandparent visitation. The grandparents can be a link to the child’s heritage and can provide invaluable connections that promote healing in grief for all concerned. Grief comes not just after death, but anytime there is a loss of relationship. This is a bipartisan effort that can only help facilitate healthier families and healthier grief journeys

Last Name: Doss Locality: Abingdon

This is very close to home because my godparents have been trying to see their grandchildren for several years since the passing of their son. There is no reason loving and caring people should be kept from them. All this does it cause more hurt for the children and grandparents who have already been through so much.

Last Name: Carlson, M.D. Locality: Arlington

This is a bipartisan consensus bill that respects parental rights, while allowing grandparents with special circumstances, to make their case; it’s fair for everyone. It allows courts to consider the expressed consent, as proven by the grandparents, the wishes of the deceased parent in maintaining the grandparent/grandchild relationship. Grandparents play a vital role in children’s upbringing, and should be allowed the opportunity to present their case, while preserving the rights of the parent. Please pass SB1325 in its entirety. Sincerely, Mary Susan Carlson, M.D, Resident of Arlington County, VA

Last Name: Salyer Locality: Bristol

Studies have repeatedly shown how invaluable the grandparent/grandchild relationship is to the fiber of a family. I can see in my own children how their lives, their characters have been positively influenced by their relationship to their grandparents. Even though some of them have passed, the stories of influence are still recanted now by my children to their children. Death often impacts the amount of time we have with grandparents, but it should not be limited by others. It’s too valuable and life is too short. Please, please pass SB1325 in it’s entirety. Thank you.

Last Name: Carlson Locality: Fairfax

I cannot imagine not having my grandparents in my life as I grew up. This bill allows courts to take in consideration the expressed consent, as proven by the grandparents, the wishes of the deceased parent in maintaining the grandparent/grandchild relationship. Please pass SB1325 in its entirety; this is a bipartisan bill that allows grandparents to make their case, without infringing upon parental rights. It’s fair for everyone.

Last Name: Anderson Locality: Emory

Please pass this bill, how else can a child learn about their past family if they can’t be with their grandparents, the ones who know about family members on that side of their family. What if a parent has passed away and the remaining parent will not tell the children about said parent, how will they ever know what a wonderful person that parent was. Grandparents are very important to their grandchildren, I know because I miss mine very much. So please pass the law for grandparents to have visitation rights. Thank you

Last Name: Anderson Locality: Emory

Please pass this bill, how else can a child learn about their past family if they can’t be with their grandparents, the ones who know about family members on that side of their family. What if a parent has passed away and the remaining parent will not tell the children about said parent, how will they ever know what a wonderful person that parent was. Grandparents are very important to their grandchildren, I know because I miss mine very much. So please pass the law for grandparents to have visitation rights. Thank you

Last Name: Seymore Locality: Damascus

To withhold the love of a grandparent toward a grandchild as a travesty! I cannot imagine my life without the love and support of my grandparents! I also cannot imagine my life as a grandparent without access to my grandchildren! Please right this wrong!

Last Name: Evans Organization: Grandparents Locality: Abingdon

I have watched my brother lose his son tragically April 2017. By summer he had no access to his 3 grandchildren. As an Aunt my heart broke. But to watch my brother lose his beloved son at the age of 32, and then the only grandchildren he has. The children of your children, is the most wonderful love. These grandchildren were with them some part of every wk. Please pass this bill for grandparents all over state of Va

Last Name: Neese Locality: Abingdon

Please pass this bill granting grandparent rights to have their grandchildren in their lives. I cannot imagine not having had my grandparents in my life. The children need their grandparents.

Last Name: Ashby Locality: Meadowview

As a child growing up, I cannot imagine not being able to spend time with my grandparents. They were such an important part of my life. As a grandparent now myself, it would be heartbreaking not seeing our granddaughter.

Last Name: Price Locality: Washington County

I am fortunate to be a grandmother of three, and to have spent years as a caretaker in my grandchildren’s lives in southwest Virginia – more than a decade for the oldest. Access to my grandchildren ceased when my son, a Virginia State Police sergeant, died tragically in 2017. So, I lost contact with four important people around the same time. Virginia currently allows for grandparents to ask for visitation with their grandchildren, but the law sets a remarkably high and nebulous bar to grant access. We are required to prove “actual harm” to grandchildren absent of visitation. “Actual harm” is not well-defined in the law, and proving it presents a nearly impossible standard. Despite the barriers, I KNOW my son would have wanted me to have a relationship with his children, my grandchildren. He always did when he was with us. But I have been unable to present evidence in court given the current law. I urge you to pass Senate Bill 1325 in the House of Delegates to improve Virginia’s laws on grandparent visitation. SB1325 would consider special circumstances of grandparents who have lost a child, and who are then petitioning for visitation with their grandchildren. Grandparents like me. It is a bipartisan, compromise bill that strongly preserves the rights of parents, in line with federal statutes. SB1325 is also supported by research that shows that grandparents play an important role in the lives of grandchildren, particularly after death of a parent (Barnett et al., Dunifon et al., Lussier et al.). Grandparents in Virginia would be given a chance to play this support role if SB1325 passes.

Last Name: Robertson Locality: Bedford County

My grandparents played a pivotal role in raising my brother and I and were irreplaceable role models in our upbringing. Every child deserves that. Every grandparent deserves the joy of seeing their legacy live on. I am heartened to see bipartisan support for a bill that will make our Commonwealth a better place for children.

Last Name: Williams Locality: Damascus, VA

We are the grandparents of three amazing children who were torn from our lives after their father (our son/step-son) died tragically almost four years ago. We do not have access to the children; therefore we cannot meet the (now) harm standards of the law to be granted visitation. These proposed changes will open doors that allow us, and many others like us who have established relationships with their grandchildren, to be provided that chance based on things we CAN prove, like our son’s desire to have us as a part of his children’s lives. Passing this bill provides opportunities for grandparents with already established relationships with their grandchildren to provide proof to a court of these relationships and what is in the best interest of the children. Thank you for your consideration.

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