It’s increasingly common for grandparents to step into a parent’s shoes all over again when their grandchildren are left without caretakers. For one reason or another, you may have custody of your grandchildren — but is that enough?
You may want to consider whether you should adopt your grandchildren to better protect them. There are countless reasons why grandparents decide to adopt their grandchildren, but the following three are some of the most common:
Adoption can connect your family with more resources
Given that grandparent stepping up to take care of grandchildren and intergenerational families are common, there are tons of support available for families after adoption. From support group meetings and respite services to state benefits and counseling opportunities, formal adoption could make it easier for you and your grandkids to get the support and services you need to move forward.
Adoption prevents a parent from destabilizing the family
In a scenario where you adopt because your child abandoned the children, went to jail or had their rights terminated by the state, the potential always exists for your child to show back up one day and to want to suddenly act like a parent.
The problem with that scenario is that you may not have the legal right to stop them. That kind of destabilization could cause social, educational and emotional harm to the kids. If you adopt them, while you can always let your child play an active role in the family, you have more say over what they do — and do not do — with the kids.
The children may feel more secure after adoption
Losing a parent, facing abandonment or otherwise dealing with adverse family scenarios can make life difficult for children and young. If you want to step up and be a source of consistency and security, officially becoming an adoptive parent to your grandchildren will let them know how serious you are.
As a grandparent, adoption is one of your potential rights. Asserting your rights as a grandparent may require legal advice and assistance with paperwork and court proceedings.