Letter: Law on grandparents rights needs updating

To the editor,

Since the decision of the USA Supreme Court in Troxel vs Grainville (2000), the state of the people named grandparents have had their rights to visit their grandchildren to be of virtual extinction throughout the USA. Our society has been and still is in decay and Connecticut General Statute Sec. 46-59 has to be updated for the state of the people named grandparents.

Grandparents realistically do not want to function as parents unless an emergency happens and for sure if it ever happens they will be there for children and family, but they want to function in a grandparent to grandchild capacity only. They had their share of parenting.

The “intact family” as it is said by all is to be a “married family” period. The “intactness” of a married family doesn’t necessarily mean it functions well or that its children are being cared for. The intactness of a marriage is absolutely no indication of a healthy marriage or if it’s noxious to a child. Intact Doctrine can conceal wrongdoing from the law, grandparents and other family members.

Petitioning for right of visitation by a grandparent is costly by either hiring an attorney or by doing it yourself, plus all the mental and physical emotions a grandparent goes through. Whether you are retired, it does put a definite strain on the family in its entirety, and really let’s be sensible who wants to bring a family into a courtroom. But this is the real world and it’s not very nice, so we as grandparents have to do the thing that never entered our mind: bring our so-called adult children to court or to mediation in order to visit our grandchildren, shame on us all. Especially, on our own state statute 46b-59 with all the petitioning requirements, standard of proofs, factors and additional factors that a decent, honorable, law-abiding, mentally-physically fit and reasonably financial fit and most of all a Christian fit grandparent has to go through in order to hug his grandchild and then to be denied visitation. Also, this statute just takes for granted, by over-excessive and aggressive decisions and pretty enforceable actions by the courts and by judges, that the parental decision is automatically correct and in the best interest of the child, always. It’s not and the visitation rights for these responsible grandparents, and for this reason grandparents rights to visitation are at an extinction level in this day and age, especially in Connecticut and throughout the USA, the greatest country in the world.

This new raised bill, HB-5608, will hopefully open up the process so grandparents have another option, a chance to explain their side of a visitation situation before being cut off from family entirely. And I hope they would also consider adding to this process a grandparent right to an automatic referendum for option and an automatic referendum to mediate, no matter what, and restore the family unit in its entirety, upon filing for visitation. Also, Gov. Malloy should transfer funds from prisoner reform to mediations for grandparents rights for family reform. We never committed a crime. Grandparents should submit their written testimony in support of HB-5608 to the Judiciary Committee at judtestimony@cga.ct.gov, as soon as possible.

Emidio C. Cerasale

Naugatuck

The writer is the Connecticut Chapter president of the Grandparent’s Rights Association of the USA.