Blog Talk Radio:Tomaotes in the trenches
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NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Aug. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — While Susan Hoffman’s story tugs at the heartstrings, it is not a sob story. The author has published a book about grandparents’ rights and how she was forced into action after the courts refused to let her petition for visitation with her only grandchild.
Grand Wishes: Advocating To Preserve The Grandparent-Grandchild Bond, published by Collegare Press, is a touching and heartfelt olio of grandparent stories and self-help information, which is not only emotionally evocative, but also details Hoffman’s inspiring journey of self-discovery as she confronted the enforced alienation which spurred her into uncharted legislative and non-profit territory.
According to Carleen Brennan, co-author of Custody For Fathers: “Susan starts out a little like Danielle Steele, and before you know it you are treading into the legislation process.”
Hoffman, of Newport Beach, California, became the target of alienation by the custodial parent, resulting in a separation from her grandson just a month short of her grandchild’s fifth birthday. Devastated and committed to supporting other disenfranchised grandparents, she started her own support group. That group developed into a non-profit organization, ADVOCATES FOR GRANDPARENT-GRANDCHILD CONNECTION. Bolstered by the ensuing support, Hoffman’s advocacy for preserving the grandparent-grandchild connection intensified into activism in the form of a bill which she lobbied for and sponsored.
Finally, after a year of petitioning and with the support of California Assemblyman Van Tran (R-Garden Grove), all 120 legislators unanimously agreed on the importance of the grandparent-grandchild relationship and passed California Bill AB2517, which was signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Aug. 22, 2006 and became law the following January.
Research indicates denying access to the grandparent-grandchild bond is a form of emotional child abuse. Extended family relationships are crucial to a child’s development in every way, and denied visitations not only cause the grandparents to suffer, but equally harm the children as well.
Grand Wishes advocates that that the special and deeply significant bond between grandparent and grandchild be preserved and revered, and details the inspiring story of a woman’s foray into the justice system to ensure that reality.