The Court of Appeals of Virginia has recently issued an important Adoption decision with respect to grandparent rights. The case is Harvey v. Flockhart.
The facts of the case are that the Flockharts where foster parents. The birth parents’ parental rights were terminated. The grandparents, however, exercised frequent visitation with the children and were close to them. However, the grandparents never supported the foster parents and made clear that they did not regard them as the real parents of the children. This caused a breakdown in the relationship. The trial court granted the adoption and ruled that the grandparents had no right to visit the children.
The decision is the clear application of Virginia Code Section 63.2-1215 which provides that an adoption divests any person whose interest in the children derives from or through the birth parents, including grandparents, from any right to petition the court for visitation with the children.