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Most people get to wash their hands of parental responsibility when their children turn 18 or graduate from high school. Sadly, for many grandparents in North Carolina, they may find themselves in a position where they eventually have to return to a parental role.

Sometimes, the unthinkable can happen, and their child may die, leaving behind grandchildren who need someone to care for them. Other times, their child or the person they had children with could lose custody of the children due to neglect, abuse or addiction issues.

While you have the right to seek visitation with your grandkids even if the other biological parent doesn’t want you to or someone else adopts them, stepping into a parental role and adopting your grandchildren could possibly be the better choice for them and for you.

As an existing family member, you already know and care for them

Losing a parent either through death or state intervention is an incredibly traumatic experience for children of any age. Kids in this kind of situation, especially older children and teens, may lash out if they wind up in the care of strangers. Group homes and foster homes may not be the best place for children dealing with an emotionally tumultuous time in their life.

Given that you already have a bond with the children, having them come to live with you can make them feel more secure and supported. Additionally, you can provide them with an ongoing connection to their parents, even if they cannot have direct contact with them for one reason or another.

When you are the one raising your grandkids, you don’t have to worry

Most people involved in the foster care system do what they do because they love children and want to make the world a better place. However, some people are motivated by money or the desire to have access to vulnerable children.

Having your grandchildren live with a stranger can be a major source of anxiety and fear, as you may constantly worry about the treatment they are receiving and whether or not they are safe. When your grandchildren are in your home, you are there to monitor their development and advocate on their behalf. You will know that they are safe, and you can also potentially facilitate the reintegration of their parents into their lives in certain circumstances.