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A Better Partnership
June 13, 2013

COA holds that grandparents did not have standing to seek granparenting time when their son's parental rights were terminated

In Porter v. Hill, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that grandparents did not have standing to seek grandparenting-time when their deceased son's parental rights terminated because of abuse. The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court and held that the Michigan Child Custody Act, MCL 722.27b(1), which provides that grandparents may seek grandparenting time if the '[t]he child's parent who is a child of the grandparents is deceased,' does not allow parents of a person who is no longer a legal parent to seek grandparenting time. The court reasoned that someone who is a biological parent but not a legal parent is not a 'natural parent' under the statute. The court also urged the legislature to clarify a provision of the Child Custody Statute that allows grandparents to seek parenting time in cases in which parental rights have been terminated for a stepparent adoption, rather than cases where parental rights were terminated because of abuse or neglect.

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