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Can Grandparents Stop an Adoption From Happening?


The question of whether grandparents can stop an adoption from happening isn’t as easy of a question as it sounds. Really, the question has to be asked on a couple of levels. First, do grandparents have a legal right to stop an adoption from happening? Second, are there things that grandparents can do to help stop an adoption from happening? The answers to these two questions are very different from one another.

First, in terms of a legal right, grandparents cannot stop an adoption from happening. As it stands today, in pretty much all states, there is no legal right or standing for grandparents to stop an adoption from happening. Still, grandparents who wish do stop an adoption from happening may have some legal rights of which they should be aware. Grandparents that have had a relationship with the child can, in most states, be required to receive a notice if parental rights are being terminated, even if it is voluntary. They also have a right to be notified about adoption proceedings, at which they can appear, and will be allowed to present their position on stopping the adoption to the court.

Second, in terms of things that grandparents can do to stop an adoption from happening, they certainly can be involved in these court proceedings. They can lobby the birth parents if the parental rights are being given up voluntarily. In some states, even if parental rights are being stripped, grandparents are often given a priority in terms of custody, which could lead eventually to the grandparents adopting the grandchild. Still, this does not always happen, and there are cases when the courts will just not rule in favor of letting the child live with the grandparents, for any number of reasons.

If you are a grandparent and you are hoping to stop an adoption from happening, you should explore all of your options. It is also probably a good idea to consider hiring an attorney to help you navigate through all of the legal issues that will surround your attempts to stop the adoption from happening.



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