Survey Results on Grandparent Visitation Rights



Contact: Reece R. Halpern,, 510-527-4337,



USA - July 26, 2000: An Internet survey of grandparents found 78 percent of them profoundly disappointed with a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down a Washington State law that protected a grandparent’s right to visit their grandchildren.

Although the court ruling only applies to Washington state, grandparents nationwide expressed concern that a court would view parental discretion as more important than considering what is in the best interest of the child. “What is good for the emotional health of the child should take precedent,” commented one survey respondent.

One surprising finding in the survey was that 72 percent of the respondents know someone who has experienced difficulty visiting a grandchild due to parental interference after the child’s parents divorced or separated. While only 29 percent of the respondents felt that parental discretion regarding grandparent visitation rights is more important than a grandchild’s wishes, parental discretion was supported more strongly if the child’s biological parents are living together with the child as a family. In other words, 41 percent felt that parental discretion should be respected when the child’s nuclear family is intact.

The survey was conducted by, a weekly Internet magazine for older adults. Reece Halpern, the publisher, noted that “Many survey respondents recognized the complex nature of the issue and expressed hope that state laws would consider both the best interest of the child and the legitimate exercise of parental discretion.” Halpern added, “The survey results reflect a tension between traditional family values and the unpleasant realities often associated with divorce.”

Most grandparents agreed with the perspective expressed by one respondent that “Children have a right to an extended family.” However, the respondents’ support for grandparent visitation rights was tempered with an awareness that there are extenuating circumstances in many cases.



The survey was conducted via the Internet June 14 - 26, 2000.

151 respondents completed the survey.

85 percent of the respondents were female.

93 percent of the respondents have grandchildren.



Since 1995, has published a free weekly Internet magazine for older adults. The site receives approximately 400,000 hits per month and contains hundreds of articles on subjects such as grandchildren, alternative healthcare, relationships, unusual travel opportunities, healthful recipes, and practical legal/financial advice.

In 1995, there were approximately 600,000 seniors on the Internet and was one of the first Web sites to serve the mature market. Today more than 13 million seniors surf the Internet. By providing magazine-quality articles on a weekly basis for the past five years, has developed a loyal following and distinguished itself from its competitors. is currently negotiating with several large companies for sponsorships that will enable it to evolve into a daily senior portal site offering unique services that reflect a genuine understanding of the mature market consumer.