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March 7, 2006

Senate File 2031: Grants Grandparents Visitation Rights

Author:
Ragan, Seymour, Warnstadt, Beall, Tinsman, Dotzler, Stewart, Boettger and Kreiman

Summary:
This bill would reduce parental rights by allowing grandparents and great-grandparents to file for and receive visitation under certain circumstances.

Status:

1/12/2006Senate, Introduced, referred to Senate Human Recourses Committee
1/25/2006Senate, Referred to subcommittee, Ragan, Seymour, Kreiman, and Tinsman
2/8/2006Senate, Subcommittee Meeting Scheduled for 4, not actually heard
2/15/2006Subcommittee reassigned: Kreiman, Seymour, Ragan, and Tinsman
2/20/2006Committee Hearing Scheduled, not actually heard
3/3/2006Crossover Day—Bill did not pass out of full committee; bill is dead

HSLDA's Position:
Oppose.

Action Requested:
None Requested at this time

Background:
It is the right of fit parents in an intact family to decide with whom their children spend time. Unless they have been declared unfit parents, their decision should not be subject to second guessing by a judge.

Senate File 2031 (S.F. 2031) and while it is called a "Grandparents Rights" bill, it should really be called a "Parental Rights Reduction Bill." It would give grandparents and great-grandparents the right to receive visitation rights if the judge believes either that the parent is unfit to make the decision, or that denying visitation poses substantial harm to the child.

This bill gives judges the unprecedented power to declare that parents are unfit to make a specific decision. If this bill passes, it would embolden others to give judges power to declare parents unfit to make other decisions.

The bill gives a dangerous amount of power to judges because it sets no standards for what makes a parent unfit to make a decision about grandparent visitation, or what would constitute "substantial harm" from not spending time with grandparents.

This bill is part of the larger campaign to undermine parental authority.

 Other Resources

Feb.-8-2006—Iowa—Calls Needed to Defend Parental Rights

Feb.-10-2006—Iowa—Calls Needed to Protect Parental Rights

Feb.-17-2006—Iowa—Calls Needed to Protect Parental Rights

Bill Text and History