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North Carolina custody battle crosses state border

When a child is determined to be in an unsafe environment, action is taken to remove the child and place him or her with a foster family. In some instances, the child is eventually returned to their parents but in others, the child remains in the system. Some foster families decide to legally adopt the child and this can lead to a child custody battle between the foster family and the child's biological family. In such cases, it falls to a judge to determine what is in the best interests of the child.

Grandparents in another state are seeking to obtain child custody over their granddaughter, who is currently in the care of a North Carolina foster family. The family has voiced intent to adopt the young girl and has started the legal proceedings; the child's parents relinquished their parental rights in a letter to the judge involved in the case.

However, the grandmother claims that their rights are being ignored in favor of the adoptive couple; the adoptive mother has social relationships with the child's guardian ad litem and a case worker from the Department of Social Services. The grandmother claims that their evidence showing that they would provide a loving and nurturing home for their granddaughter was essentially ignored.

When it comes to grandparents' rights, child custody laws can become extremely complicated. It may come down to the fact that the foster parents have established a close emotional bond with the child or that relocation simply isn't in the child's best interests. What is certain is that with the unstable foundation of many families, more grandparents may find themselves seeking custody of their grandchildren.

Source: Georgetown Times, " Georgetown couple fighting to get custody of grandchild," Scott Harper, Jan. 25, 2013

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