When your child has a child, you graduate from parent to grandparent. You will likely continue to have a positive relationship with your own child while forming a new bond with your grandchildren.
For most families, grandparents play an auxiliary role, providing childcare, backup, support and advice to their child and their grandchildren. However, sometimes, grandparents need to fill a much larger role in the lives of their grandchildren.
If your child cannot or does not fulfill the obligations of a parent, you may have to consider filling that role for your grandchildren. Indiana does allow grandparents to either seek the foster placement of their grandchildren and even permanently adopt them in certain circumstances.
Why might you need to consider grandchild adoption?
You most likely want your child to be a good parent and have a strong, healthy relationship with their kids. Still, a number of factors could make that impossible. You might need to show more of a parental role in the lives of your grandchildren if your child:
- Has a baby while still in school
- Struggles with drug or alcohol addiction
- Abandons their children
- Winds up incarcerated in a prison or mental health facility
- Loses their parental rights due to action taken by the state
- Has severe health issues or dies while the children are young
There are, of course, other situations in which a grandparent may need to play more of a parental role, but these are some of the more common reasons that grandparents find themselves caring for grandchildren or considering adoption.
Indiana will typically prioritize requests by family members
Whether your grandchildren have been living with you for a while or you have only recently become aware of their unmet needs, you have a pre-existing relationship with those children that puts you in a unique position to provide for their social and emotional needs.
Indiana will typically prioritize foster placement requests made by family members, and the same is usually true of adoption requests as well. You will usually need to complete all of the standard requirements for adoptive or foster parents, including a home inspection and completing a background check. Usually, your child must give up their parental rights or the state must terminate them for someone else to adopt the children.
Provided that you meet the state requirements, adopting your grandchildren can give them a sense of security and protect them from other complications that could arise due to the situation with their parents, such as the separation of siblings that the state cannot place as a unit in one foster home.
Although you may have thought that your days of parenting were over, joining the ranks of the more than 60,000 grandparents right here in Indiana who provide daily care for their grandchildren could benefit them and you in the long run.