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Raising Grandchildren

In this day and age there are a lot of grandparents raising their grandchildren for numerous different reasons. Sometimes the grandparent may seek custody of their grandchild due to the parents’ incapacity to raise the grandchild. Other times the grandparent may have no choice but to raise the grandchild due to the situation at hand.

Raising a grandchild after raising a child or children may be not only a very emotional experience but also an expensive and life-altering endeavor. Prior to accepting the responsibility of raising the grandchild there are many things that the grandparent should consider. Some of the factors include:

    • Age of the grandchild or grandchildren.
    • Age of the grandparent.
    • Health of the grandparent.
    • Financial security of the grandparent.
    • Home environment of the grandparent.
    • The grandparent’s ability to become involved in the grandchild’s life both emotionally and physically.
    • The grandchild’s feelings on living with or being cared for by the grandparent.
    • The parents’ desired role in the grandchild’s life.

If the grandparent decides to seek custody of the grandchild then the grandparent would be required to file a petition for adoption. The parents would be required to terminate their parental rights to the grandchild. Sometimes arrangements may be worked out that permit the parents to continuing visiting the grandchild or participating in the grandchild’s life. However, circumstances vary greatly with respect to what role the grandchild’s parents will play in her life.

The grandchild needs a stable environment for proper emotional growth. If the grandchild is placed in the grandparent’s home and taken out on a repeated basis grave harm could result with the grandchild. The grandchild may be much happier with the home life that is created by the grandparent and may actually prefer it. For example, if the grandparent obtains custody of the grandchild, permits the biological mother to move in with the grandparent to attempt to resume her parental duties and then the biological mother becomes involved in drugs, the grandchild is not being provided with a stable home environment. The grandparent must use her best judgment to determine whether the biological parents of the grandchild should continue to be involved in the grandchild’s life. In extreme cases, if the grandparent obtains custody over the grandchild the grandparent may need to obtain a restraining order to preclude the biological parents from interfering in the grandchild’s life.

Copyright 2011 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.


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