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Grandparents: When A Parent Leaves Or Doesn't Participate, Can His Parents Still Visit?

The latest scandal to emerge from MTV’s Teen Mom is that Farrah’s deceased ex-boyfriend, Derek Underwood’s, mom, Stormie Underwood Clark wants to be in her granddaughter, Sophia’s life, but Farrah is saying, NO WAY. Dra-ma!

According to OK! Stormie has only been able to see Sophia on the hit MTV documentary. Saddened by her nonexistent relationship with her granddaughter, Stormie told OK! “When Debra [Farrah’s mom] picks Sophia up on the show, it breaks my heart.”

Since Farrah won’t budge on letting Sophia meet her biological grandmother, Stormie contacted an attorney. But, former prosecutor, Nancy Grace, says it’ll be tough for Stormie to plead her case. Even though the visitation rights of grandparents are different in every state, the gist is that they hinge on the following: The child of the grandparent is deceased, the parent of the child is unfit, it is in the best interest of the child, or the grandparent has a substantial relationship with the child. According to Nancy, since Sophia was born after Derek died and Stormie never met the child, she’ll have a hard time proving her relevance in court. Ouch.

Here’s the thing, we have no idea why Farrah is so against Stormie being in Sophia’s life, but if it’s nothing life-threatening (and likely isn’t), I think Farrah should back off and allow visitation. Farrah is always complaining she needs help with babysitting and is short on cash. Well, perhaps Stormie could help her out in those areas. I’m not saying she’d dish out buckets of money, but maybe she’d be inclined to buy Sophia clothes or toys (HI, GRANDPARENTS LIVE TO SPOIL!)—watch her on a Friday night so Farrah can go speed-dating. Bottom line: LOVE HER. You can never have enough love.

As you all know, JD’s father doesn’t participate at all and because of his example, his parents, brothers and sister also cease to acknowledge JD. It’s sad and confusing and wrong, but if things were to change, I’d take a deep breath and once again welcome his father and family to meet and know JD. It’s really not my place to forbid this and I imagine JD would be angry if he knew I did.

I think Farrah may not be able to deal with the emotions that come with Sophia meeting her grandmother. For me, I’ve dealt with the reality of what happened, because, well, I’m a single mom raising a little boy that looks exactly like his father. JD’s dad is in a different place. He is not emotionally or physically attached to this reality.

If my ex-boyfriend were to come over today, I’d probably say something like, can you play trains with JD while I fold these clothes, prep dinner and read the 150 emails in my inbox?

I’m being serious. I’m in a completely different place than his father. A visit from him would not be dramatic or tearful or anything other than…a visit from a person who is going to entertain JD for a bit. I’m not expecting the clouds to part, for a rainbow to arch over my living room.

Let me end here, I caught the tail end of that Michelle Pfeiffer movie, White Oleander, this weekend (love Lifetime!). The plot is twisted and complicated, but one of the points is that Pfeiffer’s character, Ingrid, was with her daughter, Astrid’s father and he left when she was only 6-months-old. In an emotionally charged scene, a teenage Astrid finds out her father came looking for her when she was 8 and that her mother forbid the contact. “But I wanted to see him. It wasn’t about you!” Astrid screams. 

That’s all for today, folks. Ahhhhh!

What do you think, should Farrah allow Derek’s mom visitation? What do you think could be standing in the way for Farrah? Are you a single parent who allows or doesn’t allow communication via a non-participating ex’s parents? Discuss.

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