SB 5005 would authorize grandparents (solely) to seek visitation with a grandchild over the objection of the child’s parent or parents. The bill would also only allow grandparents to seek visitation of their grandchildren if they are a “blood relative” of a son or daughter who is also the parent of the grandchild. In addition, the bill would provide that “denial of visitation with a grandparent shall be presumed to result in harm to a child when a significant relationship [between the grandchild and a grandparent] has been shown to exist.” Currently, Washington does not permit third parties to seek visitation with a child, although third parties can seek custody of a child under Washington’s non-parental custody law (RCW 26.10) if they can show that a parent is unfit or that a child would suffer actual detriment by remaining in a parent’s custody. [Note: In 2005, the Washington Supreme Court struck down the state’s third-party visitation statute (RCW 26.09.240) as unconstitutional in the case of In re Parentage of C.A.M.A.].
SB 5005 was referred to Sen. Law and Justice but has not been scheduled for a hearing. Therefore, it is dead.