'In the best interest of the child'
Do grandparents have rights in child-custody cases? That is a matter of much interpretation, and that's when things get murky.
BY M.D. KITTLE, ASSISTANT CITY EDITOR
Carol Schute, of East Dubuque, Ill., looks over photos of her grandchildren, whom she is no longer allowed to see. Schute's son and daughter-in-law recently lost custody of their two daughters, ages 5 and 9. By proxy, Schute can have no contact with her grandchildren, according to Iowa law.
They worked a puzzle, that last day. They read stories. They sang songs. "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." "The Wheels on the Bus." Two young granddaughters alternating time on their grandma's lap. Like they had done countless times before.
But this time, an agent on behalf of the state was waiting. The clock was ticking.
Carol Schute had 30 minutes to say goodbye to her grandchildren, knowing the supervised visit was meant to be the last goodbye. Without being told, Schute said, her 5-year-old granddaughter knew as much, and she didn't want to let go.
"My youngest grabbed ahold of me saying, 'Grandma, you take me home with you, you take me home with you,'" Schute recalled of that day last month.
"I said, 'Not today, sweetheart. Not today," Schute said, her voice breaking as tears welled in her eyes. "But I couldn't cry in front of those girls because I didn't want to upset them."
The 5-year-old and her 9-year-old sister were taken back to separate foster homes, days after a Dubuque juvenile-court.
(This is the first part only. It breaks your heart. I don't see how so many in government turn their backs on this. But, that is what is happening.)