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3 reasons grandparents may decide to adopt their grandchildren

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2024 | Family Law |

Grandparents in Indiana can potentially spend a great deal of quality time with their grandchildren. Maybe they provide child care while their child goes to work or attends school. Perhaps multiple generations of the family all live together in one home because of the challenging housing market.

Grandparents might also enjoy holidays and other special events with their grandchildren without having a daily presence in their lives.

Sometimes, grandparents may sometimes need to accept more of a parental role in the lives of their grandchildren. Occasionally, they may even decide to legally adopt a grandchild. The following are some of the reasons that a grandparent might step into a parental role for their grandchildren.

Parental incarceration

Individuals convicted of criminal offenses in Indiana must sometimes serve a sentence in state custody. Offenses ranging from drunk driving and drug offenses to domestic violence might lead to someone’s incarceration. A parent living in state facilities cannot expect to meet the needs of their children. Grandparents can sometimes pursue an adoption when a custodial parent ends up in state custody and cannot take care of the children.

Addiction or other health challenges

Sometimes, the parents of someone’s grandchildren don’t get into legal trouble but instead face medical challenges. Someone who struggles with alcoholism or other substance abuse issues might recognize that they cannot meet the needs of their children. The same is sometimes true of those with particularly severe medical challenges.

Someone with epilepsy may not be able to consistently provide supervision and transportation for their children because of their medical challenges. Someone about to begin chemotherapy may recognize that their treatment for cancer could leave them unable to meet their children’s needs. Parents may sometimes voluntarily cooperate with a grandparent adoption if they acknowledge that their medical circumstances affect their ability to meet their children’s needs.

State termination of parental rights

In scenarios involving substantiated allegations of abuse or neglect, parents can potentially lose their legal authority in Indiana. If the state terminates a parent’s rights, grandparents could potentially take over and help to raise their children.

Grandparent adoptions can potentially provide stability for children in difficult situations. They can also help grandparents ensure the protection of their relationship with their beloved grandchildren. These scenarios can get complicated though, so it’s important for grandparents to understand that seeking legal guidance is always an option.