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I am a grandmother of a newborn baby. We have been denied visitation with him and denied a background check what can we do?

You can attend a court hearing and ask to be designated as a “Participant”. As a participant you should receive notice of hearings and be able to speak to the judge regarding any issue. As a grandparent, the court can order visitation for you if the child is not in the custody of either parent and if the court determines such an order is in the child’s best interest. You may also retain an attorney to represent you in this matter.

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I am not aware of the living conditions my son is currently in should I get CPS involved?

Florida Department of Children and Families Child Protection Services may not get involved without more information that raises child safety and welfare concerns. You can see if local law enforcement will contact your wife and son to perform a welfare check. If law enforcement has child safety concerns they will contact DCF.

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If I accept temporary custody of my grandson due to an open case of child abuse against his mother, what is the extent that DCF can interfere with my life?

If the child is placed with you through a dependency case, then you will need to cooperate with DCF and follow court orders. If the child comes into your custody through a family court (temporary custody by extended family) case, then DCF will discontinue their involvement. You may wish to further discuss your situation with an attorney to discuss possible options and to better understand what will likely occur in either event.

What if my child’s father is a registered sex offender, can I terminate his rights?

DCF will be involved. Whether they remove this child depends heavily on why you lost other children and your current circumstances. Have you addressed and remedied the issues causing the termination of your parental rights? Removing the child from your custody at birth by court (shelter) order does not terminate your rights. But DCF may go that direction. Your actions influence decisions by DCF, and judges. If you are not stable, drug free and having prenatal health care, then you have some work to do. Be proactive, get some advice. Find a lawyer now who practices dependency law in your area and review your case.