Being a grandparent often means getting to send the kids back home when they have behavioral issues or handing them back to a parent for a diaper change. Some grandparents, on the other hand, end up fulfilling the responsibilities of a parent.
There are numerous scenarios in which a grandparent may want to pursue an uncontested adoption of their grandchildren, including the three somewhat common scenarios below.
Your child dies at an early age
Car accidents, occupational injuries or even unexpected illness could claim your child’s life before their time, leaving your grandchildren with no one to care for them. Grandparents often step up when a parent dies by adopting their grandchildren and helping to raise them.
When your child goes to jail or becomes a patient at a mental health facility
Sometimes, living parents cannot fulfill the needs of their children because they cannot be physically present. If your child has recently pleaded guilty to a criminal offense with a long sentence attached or has undergone involuntary commitment to a mental health facility, it may be better for you to adopt the children than for them to wind up in foster care.
When the state terminates your child’s rights
Your child doesn’t need to die or end up in state custody to lose their parental rights. If state agencies bring credible allegations of abuse, neglect or addiction impacting your child’s parenting, the state may terminate their parental rights. Your decision to step up as an adoptive grandparent in that scenario could make all the difference for your grandchildren.
Recognizing that your circumstances might make grandparent adoption necessary can help you decide what steps to take next.