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Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Grandparents may end up raising their grandchild for a variety of reasons: perhaps the grandchild's parents have passed away or have been incarcerated, or drugs, alcohol or family violence filled the grandchild's former home. Raising your grandchild is no small undertaking and you might have ambivalent feelings about raising your grandchild; however, this article will help you understand why many children are raised by grandparents, what your grandchild may be feeling, and the legalities of raising your grandchild.

Why Children are Raised by Grandparents

Grandparents usually raise their grandchild because:

  • The grandchild's parents have substance abuse problems.

  • One or both parents have a mental or physical illness.

  • The parents suffer financial strain and/or they are homeless.

  • Violence fills the grandchild's former home.

  • Child abuse.

  • Teen pregnancy causing the grandchild to run away or be exiled.

  • The parents get a divorce.

Feelings of disappointment in your child's inability to raise your grandchild are normal. You might also be feeling resentment toward your child for thrusting this responsibility on you. Try to put these feelings aside and recognize your grandchild needs you, and this new situation might rejuvenate your zest for life!

Your Grandchild's Feelings

No one can truly understand how your grandchild feels. He or she might be confused, and/or feel abandoned or upset toward his or her parents. Most studies reveal that many grandchildren have problems that began before entering their grandparents' care. Realize your new role and the importance of what you're doing - you are providing your grandchild with a stable home that the parents couldn't.

You might consider being a role model for your grandchild. Try bonding with your grandchild by taking a vacation or doing an outdoor activity. Showing your grandchild you care will eventually gain you trust and mutual respect.

Legal Rights and Social Agencies

You might find it easier to care for your grandchild with legal guardianship or adoption. The legal system can be frustrating and time consuming, but our guide to legal issues will brief you on the various forms of adoption and legal rights. Your relationship with your grandchild's parents should also be taken into consideration before any legal action.



Featured Sites:

Cord Blood Registry
March of Dimes
Susan G. Komen

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