HARLAN, Ky. (AP) — A woman in eastern Kentucky is organizing a support group to advocate for the rights of grandparents who are raising their grandchildren.
Teresa Osborne of Bledsoe in Harlan County says there are many obstacles facing such grandparents in the state's court system.
Osborne told the Harlan Daily Enterprise (http://bit.ly/178ubZR ) that one goal of the group, called Full Hearts Empty Arms, will be to get the rights of children and grandparents recognized.
"Full Hearts Empty Arms was created for all of us grandparents who have filled that role of stable, loving, home provider for their grandchildren, but have no legal standing in a court of law that will enable us to continue in that role," Osborne said.
She says the group is drafting a proposal to change the legal status of grandparents and hopes to have it ready to submit to lawmakers during next year's legislative session.
"I am looking for input from other grandparents to find out what are their needs, what we can do to strengthen the role of grandparents and their position as advocates for their grandchildren," said Osborne. "There are a lot of us out here who have hearts full of love, but empty arms when we try to work to protect our grandchildren. I want that to change. I think that is my life's mission."
Information from: Harlan Daily Enterprise, http://www.harlandaily.com