State ex rel. Brandon L. v. Moats

In State ex rel. Brandon L. v. Moats, 209 W.Va. 752, 551 S.E.2d 674 (2001), the Court evaluated the rights of paternal grandparents to visit a biological grandchild subsequent to adoption by the child's step-father and held that "there are no limitations on when a petition may be filed by a grandparent ..." and that "the act does not proscribe consideration of petitions seeking visitation to only pre-adoption situations." 209 W.Va. at 756, 551 S.E.2d at 678. The Court found that the adoption statutes did not negate the visitation rights granted in the grandparent visitation statute, recognizing this Court's prior decision in Petition of Nearhoof, 178 W.Va. 359, 359 S.E.2d 587 (1987) regarding the potential conflict between adoption and visitation statutes and also acknowledging the Legislature's specifically articulated intention that the "grandparent Act, by its own express declaration, is the exclusive statutory scheme for resolving issues of grandparent visitation." 209 W.Va. at 755, 551 S.E.2d at 677.