Are you determined to keep your family together? Adopting your grandchild could be the best solution.
Grandparent adoptions are relatively common in the U.S. Often called grandfamilies, these blended households are a loving place for children to land when their parents cannot fulfill their obligations.
The legal process for adopting a family member (or kinship adoption) is similar to other adoptions. However, consent in this process is more complicated and will require greater legal care.
What makes grandparent adoption unique?
Did you know that in the state of Georgia, there are over 115,000 grandfamilies and over 64 percent of these responsible grandparents are under the age of 60? These households are vibrant, supportive places where a child can live and grow under a safe, stable roof.
However, only 36 percent of those families do not have parents present. That leaves a large portion of families where the parents might contact the child. If the grandparent allows this contact, the parent could find motivation to be a more stable figure in the child’s life. Or they could try to take the child back.
In a grandparent adoption, you may need the help of legal counsel to ensure the grandparents have the most control and authority. This could mean seeking full legal custody or even legal protections against the parent. When the parent in question is your own child, this can be emotionally difficult.
How is a grandparent adoption the same as any other?
After obtaining legal consent to adopt the child, a grandparent adoption is like any other adoption. Whenever a child is leaving the care of one person and going into the care of another, the state needs assurance that your home is a safe one. This could mean that you will need to do the following:
- Pass a home evaluation
- Appear in court several times
- Prove parenting knowledge through courses or training
However, these will largely depend on your individual situation. For example, if the child is an infant, their needs are different than those of a teenager.
It may be unfortunate that your grandchild’s parents are unwilling or unable to support them. However, the child is lucky that someone in their family is looking out for their wellbeing and happiness. If your home can be the stable place they need, adoption might be right for both of you.