More Grandparents Raising Their Grandchildren

By: Jody Smith

The number of grandchildren who are living with their grandparents has been on the rise. The number who are being raised wholly or partially by their grandparents has also been increased.

The 2009 Pew Research survey reported that 39 percent of grandparents who are 65 years of age and older had been helping their children in caring for the grandkids during the previous twelve months. Additionally, 50 percent had given money to their children over the previous year and 31 percent had been assisting their kids with running errands, repairs, and housework.

Participants in the survey put a high value on being able to spend time with their grandchildren, with 29 percent of grandparents placing family togetherness at the top of the list.

The 2010 U.S. Census Bureau reported that 7 percent of children under 18 live in homes headed by grandparents, a substantial increase from the 10 years previous. Some factors may have contributed to this changing picture. An increase in reports of substance abuse, mental illness, and time in jail has rendered some parents unable to care for their children. As well, since 2008, grandparents and other family members are being notified within 30 days of their grandchildren being removed from their parents' custody.

There are four types of custody grandparents can opt for. Temporary relative custody, guardianship, dependency, and adoption are different arrangements seeking to handle the childcare dilemma.

Temporary relative custody begins as temporary, and may or may not become something else later depending on circumstances. Legal Aid Societies are available in many areas for those whom finances are a serious consideration. Guardianship makes it possible for grandparents to be involved in legal decisions without parents having to give up parental rights permanently.

For a permanent situation, adoption is the way. In order for adoption to become possible, parental rights must be revoked. Parents must surrender their parental rights, or it will be necessary to take them to court to prove they are unfit. Becoming youur grandchild's legal guardian will not ensure that you will be able to adopt them however.

To carry on with the process, a petition for adoption must be filed.If consent is granted and the child is said to be free for adoption, it's time for the next step. A social worker will observe your home and evaluate your suitability. If their findings are in your favor, you will move on through the paperwork to complete your adoption.

Jody Smith is a freelance writer for Empowher.com.

Sources:

Sharp Increase in Children with Grandparent Caregivers

http://careerpivot.com/2011/3-baby-boomer-facts-about-our-relationships-with-grandchildren/

The Effects of Baby Boomers Raising Grandchildren

http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2011/07/21/effects-baby-boomers-raising-grandchildren/

Adopting a Grandchild That You Have Guardianship Over in Michigan

http://www.ehow.com/how_12205115_adopting-grandchild-guardianship-over-michigan.html

Related Links:

The Magical Combination of Grandparents and Grandchildren

http://www.empowher.com/active-adult/content/magical-combination-grandparents-and-grandchildren

Staying in Touch With Grandchildren When You Don't Have the Latest Technologies

http://www.empowher.com/active-adult/content/staying-touch-grandchildren-when-you-dont-have-latest-technologies

Visiting Grandchildren Provides Physical and Mental Health Benefits

http://www.empowher.com/active-adult/content/visiting-grandchildren-provides-physical-and-mental-health-benefits

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