More and more children are being raised by their grandparents, according to studies conducted in 2017. Around 2.6 million children in the United States are being raised solely by their grandparents or relatives today, which is 3.5% of the country’s children and 8% more than in the year 2000. Some cite the opioid epidemic as the reason for this huge spike in the grandparent adoption, relative adoptions, and foster care situations.
Unfortunately, adoption is still a difficult process, even for a grandparent. There are fees, court hearings, and piles of paperwork to get through. Adoption can prove to be a traumatic time for both the child and their adoptive parents. Because of this, sometimes grandparents or other relatives do not formally adopt the child in question. There are many benefits to adoption, however, that may outweigh the initial difficulties.
For example, according to this family law firm operating out of The Woodlands, Texas, Texan grandparents may want to consider adopting their grandchildren for the decision-making, financial, and stability benefits. Grandparents who are trying to raise their grandchildren without having formally adopted them have no rights when it comes to making decisions about schools, doctors, and medical procedures. They also cannot claim them as dependents on their taxes or add them to their own insurance policy. Ultimately, however, the largest benefit of a grandparent adopting their grandchild is that it settles the matter, and provides a stable home and peace of mind for everyone involved.
If the child’s parents are going through a crisis or are simply unfit to parent, it can be really hard on other relatives, like grandparents, to watch their grandchildren go through such a stressful experience. Additionally, grandparents don’t want to see their grandchildren end up in foster care. There are thousands of children in foster care in the United States today who might never be adopted. While one of the goals of foster care is to eventually reunite the child with their parent, that isn’t always possible.
Even if a grandparent or relative adopting the child is the best thing for everyone, sometimes the parent will not want to admit that this is the case. Every case in which the adoption stays within the family is different, and it may be more difficult or less difficult than traditional adoption. An adoption lawyer is usually necessary in helping the adoptive party win the case. Of course, it’s not easy for a grandparent to admit that their child is not taking good care of their grandchild, so this adoption process is difficult for them, too. However, what is best for the child should always be the number one priority, and the truth will come out during the custody and adoption proceedings.