Sometimes, grandparents must step in when a parent is no longer up to the task of raising a child. These situations happen due to a number of reasons. The child’s parent may be an alcohol or drug addict. The child may be the victim of physical and psychological abuse, or the parent is in prison.
Uncertain times require the understanding of loving, willing and patient grandparents who now must raise their grandchild. Adoption is a strong possibility in such scenarios.
Addiction, mental health and death
In 2015, an estimated 2.9 million children lived with their grandparents, who provided them with primary care, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts. That number marked a 16% increase from 10 years earlier. Officials who work in child welfare cite drug addiction among parents as the main reason more grandparents are forced into the role of raising their grandchildren.
Here are some of the reasons why grandparents adopt their grandchildren:
- Addictions: Whether to drugs or alcohol, an addiction intrudes on a parent’s life, sometimes making them an incapable parent whose focus is not on the children. Opioid addiction has played a role in the current rise of grandparents taking over parenting duties.
- Struggles with mental health: Sadly, some parents suffer mental illness such as depression, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder. In extreme cases, such sufferers just cannot function as a parent.
- Incarceration: A prison sentence will separate a parent from his or her children. The Pew Research Center noted that close to 4% of U.S children have at least one parent in prison.
- A parent’s death: Such a tragic situation will lead to certain hardships for the children and surviving spouse. In extreme cases, the surviving spouse may not have the ability to be a single parent. And in certain situations, the parent who died may have been the only guardian and role model in the child’s life.
Grandparents can fill the parental void for their grandchildren. In some cases, grandparent adoption is the right solution.
Prevailing over uncertain odds
Stability is what your grandchildren need, and you know that you can provide it for them. Considering adoption will take a some thought but remember that option is there. Regardless, you want to help your grandchildren prevail over uncertain odds.