Thursday, June 11, 2009

Landmark Ruling

What experts say was a landmark Supreme Court ruling allowed their maternal grandfather, George Smith and his wife Brenda to adopt the children.

The legal battle over their adoption may have ended their relationship with their paternal grandparents, an outcome one attorney involved called heartbreaking.

Smith, whose daughter La Shonda was the children’s mother, and his wife first petitioned to adopt the children in April 2005. That was about a month after their 27-year-old father, Eduardo Silvils, died in a car accident.

Silvils’ parents did not ask to adopt the children but did seek guardianship. Their position was that neither set of grandparents should adopt the children, thus creating a situation where both sets of grandparents had the chance to see the grandchildren regularly.

In 2006 a family court judge supported their position, giving the Smiths primary guardianship of the children but denying adoption. In his order, the judge wrote that it was in the children’s best interest to “enjoy the love, affection and involvement of all their grandparents in their lives.”

The District Court of Appeal upheld that decision. But the Florida Supreme Court ultimately disagreed.

The high court called a split guardianship “the antithesis of the right to permanence and stability that is afforded by adoptions.”

The children also have financial security after a Jacksonville jury awarded them and George Smith $2.83 million in a wrongful death lawsuit filed after their mother’s death.

Full Article and Source:
Jacksonville grandparents adopt after landmark decision


Anonymous said...

I think grandparents should be recognized more and have more rights than they do now.

Anonymous said...

The money enters into the play of things. I know of a similar case in Illinois where a trust was involved which changed the natural direction of things.

This article did not mention the possibility of court ordered visitation for the other grandparents. It should be questioned.