Depending on the family situation, the role of grandparent can take on many different meanings. For some, it can mean taking full custody of grandchildren, while for others the main pursuit is simply spending more quality time together. Although grandparent rights have long existed in Florida, some grandparents in the state nevertheless struggle to see their own family members.
Last August, an article in Florida’s 10 News highlighted the growing concern over the uncertainty of grandparent rights in the state. Some express frustration at Florida’s strict laws, which only offer recommendations for change every 20 years. In response to the limitations of grandparent rights, the Alienated Grandparents Anonymous group formed to fight back rights to see grandchildren. A large number of Floridans were at the unfortunate end of a family dispute, only to find that their own children had moved states away without notice. Yet many are optimistic that 2018 may become a turning point in this law that leaves countless grandparents heartbroken: after making requests to change the state’s constitution, they eagerly await the chance to vote on the changes in the upcoming election.
Using an even closer lens to examine the trials so many grandparents have endured, the Alienated Grandparents Anonymous Incorporated provides various resources that make a call to action. The organization’s website shares that, of the 70 million adults with grandkids in the country, 72 percent report that being a grandparent is the most important aspect of their lives. Grandparents can serve as positive role models amidst rocky family situations, and can provide unconditional love and support. Furthermore, cutting contact with such family members can create physical and mental health problems among grandparents and even grandchildren themselves. While the work of the AGA is hardly finished, the organization strives to educate the public about potential family disruptions that could result in grandparent alienation, to offer a helping hand to those struggling and to fight for Grandparents Rights legalization across the board.