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Domestic Relations – Grandparent Adoption

The Court of Appeals upholds a trial court’s grant of grandparents’ petition to adopt their grandson, born in 2001 and placed with them as a one-year-old due to his unmarried parents’ substance abuse, over the objections of the child’s biological father, who had supervised visitation with the child only three times before he was incarcerated for bad check and attempted bank robbery.

Father had little involvement in the child’s life. The grandparents have had custody of the child since he was one year old. Since father’s incarceration, his only contact with the child has been monthly phone calls, some letters and three visitations in prison. Father has made no efforts to obtain custody of the child or to assert his parental rights over the child. He is currently unable to assume custody due to his incarceration, and his release date is not until the child is 17 years old. The parties agreed that the child was doing well in the grandparents’ care. The trial court did not err in finding that the adoption was in the child’s best interests.

Trial court ruling summarily affirmed.

Jones v. Bennett (Per Curiam) No. 1418-09-3, Dec. 15, 2009; Pittsylvania County Cir.Ct. (Strauss) Gregory T. Casker for appellant; William C. Bennett Jr., pro se. VLW 009-7-526(UP), 6 pp.

VLW 009-7-526

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