As a grandparent, you love and support both your children and their children, too. Sometimes, though, it becomes apparent that the behavior of your child may be detrimental to the well-being of your grandchildren. There are a number of reasons this might be the case — perhaps he or she is unable to parent effectively because of a struggle with an addiction to heroin or another form of substance abuse.
According to PBS Newshour, the number of grandparents tasked with raising their grandchildren has risen dramatically due to the onset of the opioid crisis. If this sounds familiar, you should be aware of your rights as a grandparent and understand how to take initiative to ensure your grandkids’ wellbeing.
1. Parental right revocation
In order to assume custody from your child, he or she must revoke his or her parental rights. Courts and Child Protective Services will both generally err towards keeping kids with their own parents, so this is often one of the most challenging parts of the situation. In order to establish your child’s inability to parent, you should prepare to provide any documentation or evidence of drug use.
2. Legal guardianship
Seeking legal guardianship is one way to potentially get custody of your grandchildren. In order for this to happen, the court must deem both parents unfit — or one, if the other does not share custody. Following this, the children may enter foster care, or if a grandparent petitions for custody, the court may award guardianship to them.
3. Adoption from parents
If you are unable to prove that your grandchild’s parent is unfit, or if you are unable to establish guardianship for any other reason, you may be able to pursue adoption as an alternative route to gaining custody. Rather than entering a legal battle against your son or daughter, this option may allow you to collaboratively agree on a plan that allows you to provide care for your grandchildren.