Adoption Agreement Providing for Visitation Rights by Natural Grandparents
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In 2000, in the case of Troxel v Granville, the U.S. Supreme Court addressed the issue of third party rights to seek court-enforced time with children. Within this context, a third party is somebody other than the child's parents. The Washington State statute examined in Troxel was not technically a "grandparenting time" statute, as it allowed "[a]ny person" to petition for visitation rights at any time. The Supreme Court held that the Washington statute was overbroad. This decision made clear that there were certain prerequisites that grandparenting time statutes must meet in order to be constitutional.
Following Troxel, many state courts have addressed the constitutionality of their grandparenting time statutes, and many state legislatures have revisited (or are in the process of revisiting) their statutes, either following or in anticipation of court decisions finding them to be wholly or partially unconstitutional.
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