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Grandparents' Rights

Grandparent Visitation Rights In Canada

As early as 1980, Canadian provinces also enacted grandparent access laws based on the best interests of the child (R.S.B.C. 1996 C. 128, s. 24; R.S.B.C. 1996 C. 128, s. 35; R.S.A. 1980, c. P-20, s. 32.1). Factors to be considered when determining if grandparent visitation or access serves the child's best interests involve examining both the wishes and views of the child and the grandparent-grandchild relationship. Other factors to be considered include the child's mental and physical health, the education and training needs of the child, and the ability of the grandparents (or adults seeking access) to adequately care for the child. In Canada, grandparent visitation rights tend to focus more on the child's needs than parental rights. For example, in the case of Sparks v. Sparks (2001), the court reasoned "in no case may the father or mother, without grave reasons interfere with personal relations between the child and his grandparents" (p. 6). Despite the statutory and judicial efforts to provide grandparents' access to their grandchildren, Edward Kruk (1995) found that parental divorce, conflictual grandparent-parent relations, and step-parent adoption after remarriage continue to inhibit this access.


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Marriage and Family EncyclopediaRelatives & Extended FamilyGrandparents' Rights - Grandparent Visitation Rights In The United States, Grandparent Visitation Rights In Canada, Conclusion