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GRANDPARENTS SHOULD HAVE RIGHT TO VISIT GRANDCHILDREN

A reprint of an editorial from the Providence Journal on Jan. 20 speaks to the "rights" of grandparents to visit with and interact with grandchildren when the parents oppose such actions. I completely disagree with the assumption that if the court orders such visitations to be allowed, that it is as though the state "owns" that child and can do as it wishes against parental concerns.

When my son was killed in August 1996, he left behind a loving wife and a beautiful 4-month-old daughter. Since he was killed while working for me, his wife could have had the attitude that I caused his death, and withheld from me the "right" to see my granddaughter. I cannot imagine how much harder the past three years would have been if I had not been able to see my granddaughter -- my only link with my son -- grow, learn, love and return my love. My wife and I make every effort to be a part of their life, and fortunately, we have a daughter-in-law who understands and supports that effort.

I can truly understand why grandparents would go to court to fight for their "rights" to see their grandchildren. There is no reason to believe that the state will take over the raising of children. Even if the Supreme Court rules that grandparents have rights, parents would still have to be so ordered by a judge, after review and consideration of each case.

DAVID R. BATTAGLIA

Tonawanda

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