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Court Decides Grandparent Custody Case


A New York Family Lawyer said a grandmother filed a petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus to compel the adoptive parents of her infant grandchild to bring the child to court. A writ of habeas corpus is an order which may be issued by a court to compel any person having physical custody over a person to bring that person to court.

The grandmother alleges that her grandchild was born sometime in 1957 and was in her care until 1962. A New York Child Custody Lawyer said the father of her grandson was imprisoned and the grandchild’s mother, the daughter of the petitioner died in 1960 as a result of health complications arising from her drug addiction.

A year later, in 1962, the grandmother found herself in court locked in a custody battle over her grandchild against the paternal grandmother of her grandchild. After proceedings in the family court, the custody of the child was awarded to the paternal aunt of the grandchild (the sister of the child’s father). The paternal aunt has had custody over the grandchild from 1963 until this petition for habeas corpus was filed in 1967. Under the custody order, the maternal grandmother (the petitioner in this case) was awarded visitation rights.

Sometime in 1966, the paternal aunt and her husband filed a petition with the family court of Bronx County seeking to legally adopt her nephew. A Queens Family Lawyer said that after due hearing where the consent of all the concerned parties were sought and proved in court, the Family Court ordered that the child’s name and birth certificate be changed to reflect his adoptive parents’ name.

The grandmother filed this petition for habeas corpus seeking a ruling on whether or not the order of adoption has cancelled her visitation rights; and, whether or not as a maternal grandmother she has visitation rights.

A Queens Custody Lawyer said the Court held that the order of adoption has invalidated the order of custody of the Family Court of Bronx County. The issue of custody of the child is now moot and academic because the child has already been adopted. The issue of the child’s adoption has already been laid to rest. The court has determined that the best interest of the infant child is that he be adopted by those who have blood relations to him and by those whom he has been living with for most of his life. The adoptive parents were found to satisfy the requirements of the law.

Also, the custody order of the Bronx County was temporary and by its nature, it can be reviewed or modified depending on the factual circumstances that arise. When the custody issue was being litigated, the family court was concerned that the child’s mother had just died and the child’s father was imprisoned. Since the parental rights over the child upon his mother’s death would rest solely on his father, it was in the best interest of the child for him to be in the custody of his father’s blood relatives. The Court opined that the Family Court could have ruled in this manner in the event that the father is released from prison and would like to maintain his parental rights over his son.

The factual circumstances changed. The father was not released from prison and he has decided that his son’s best interests would be served if he were adopted by his sister. Thus, the sister of the child’s father filed a petition for adoption of her nephew. In that proceeding the Court was satisfied that the child’s aunt was in a good position to be the adoptive parent of the child.

The adoption of the child by his aunt created a permanent relationship of parent-child. All temporary orders for the custody of the child were invalidated when the decree of adoption became final. The Court resolved to dismiss this petition for habeas corpus, ruling that the adoptive parents have the right to decide if the maternal grandmother will be allowed to visit the child.

Do you seek visitation rights over your child or grandchild? You need legal advice from a New York Family Lawyer. A New York City Family Attorney will help you narrate the facts and present the grounds on which your plea for visitation rights is based. The offices of Stephen Bilkis and Associates have NYC Family Lawyers on their staff who can help you file a petition for visitation rights. Call or visit any of the offices of Stephen Bilkis and Associates in the New York area and speak with any of the NY Family Lawyers on their staff.

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