Do grandparents and other relatives have rights regarding children?
It depends. If the children are in an intact family where the parents are married, no. The parents have total power as to whom the children see. If the parents are divorced, or if the parents are unmarried, a relative may seek visitation through the court. The court must review this request by looking at what is in the best interest of the children. The parents’ wishes is extremely important in this review.
What happens to a parent’s rights if he or she gives custody to a grandparent or other person?
Once a parent relinquishes custody to a non-parent, custody cannot be regained unless the parent demonstrates a change of circumstances of the new custodian or the child.