Thursday, January 26, 2006
That's Just Wrong: Grandma
With so many grandparents living in Florida, you'd think the state would have laws protecting their rights. But tonight, one South Florida grandmother is upset she can no longer see her granddaughter. And it's perfectly legal. Now, she says Thats Just Wrong.
WSVN--It's a face no one could resist.
Sandra Bates: "Nothing is better than going to Disney world for the first time with a little one."
Just looking at pictures of her granddaughter Tasia brings a smile to Sandra Bates' face.
Sandra Bates: "I love her very much. Hopefully I will see her very soon."
But smiles have turned to tears for this grandmother who hasn't seen the little girl since august.
When Tasia went to live with her father, he prevented sandra from seeing her pride and joy.
She can't even take Tasia to visit her mother.
Sandra Bates: "He was tyring to get permanent and full custody of his daughter and until he did, I was not allowed to see her."
Nor could she come over on Christmas morning.
Sandra Bates: "I have gifts here for Tasia from her aunts and uncles up in New Hamshire. From aunts and uncles here in Florida."
Now, Sandra believes family feuds should remain within the family.
She's tried to reason with Tasia's father.
She's threatened to take him to court.
But with no other choice, she wants everybody to know - that's just wrong.
Sandra Bates: "Let me know what I have to do next. What's my next step? I have to get her. I have to be able to see her."
Craig Steves: "Believe it or not, Sandra is like a lot of grandparents. She feels like she is stuck in the middle of a custody battle with no rights. However, that could change if an advocacy group has its way."
Richard Victor: "We need to speak for the children and their right to have a meaningful loving relationship with grandparents if it's in their best interest."
Richard Victor says Sandra's greatest flaw - living in Florida.
Even if she went to court, she would lose.
Richard Victor: "Ironically, the state that probably has the most grandparents in the United States is only one of three states that have no rights that protect grandparents."
Seven news did try to contact Sandra's ex son-in-law to help solve the dispute. Unfortunely, he never returned our calls.
In the meantime, Richard Victor wants to one day change the law.
But for now, Sandra can only hope she'll see her baby soon and maybe take another trip to Disney World.
Sandra Bates: "She's my granddaughter .. yes she is."
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