AARP AARP States New York Home & Family

NY Senate Clears Way for Relatives to Get Stronger Rights in Raising Kids

Beth Finkel headshot

Contacts: Erik Kriss, ekriss@aarp.org; David Irwin, dirwin@aarp.org

Bill Gives Aunts, Uncles, Siblings, Great-Grandparents Better Standing to Make Health, Education Decisions for Over 100,000 Kids

Statement from Beth Finkel, State Director for AARP in New York State, on today’s Senate passage of the “Relative Caregiver Bill” (S2094B):

“This bill would help provide a solid foundation for children who may not have been dealt the best hand. When parents voluntarily relinquish care of their own children, for whatever reason, relatives often step in – aunts, uncles, adult siblings, sometimes great-grandparents. But these relatives typically lack the legal authority to make critical medical, school and other decisions for the kids who live with them.

“This bill would simply provide these loving relatives the same standing grandparents already have to seek custody or guardianship of children who have lived in their home for at least two years straight – and allow them to create more stable homes for the kids they love.

“AARP thanks Senator Golden for once again guiding this common-sense legislation through the Senate. We call upon Speaker Silver and the Assembly to pass this bill and send it to the Governor this year so it can become a reality and help thousands of children.”

(Note: U.S. Census Data indicate about 300,000 New York children are raised by their grandparents, but more than 100,000 are being brought up by other relatives. Organizations representing children, families and the elderly all support the Relative Caregiver Bill. No opposition has been registered to the legislation, which is sponsored in the Assembly (A7189B) by Assemblywoman Nily Rozic).

Follow us on Twitter: @AARPNY and Facebook: AARP New York

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity of AARP that is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50+ by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org. ####

About AARP New York
Contact information and more from your state office. Learn what we are doing to champion social change and help you live your best life.