Sadly more than six million children are being raised by their grandparents. This can be due to many different situations; death, incarceration, drugs, alcohol; teen pregnancy, or abandonment.
Where would these children be if it weren’t for the grandparents in today’s society? Most of them would be drug up by their addicted parents, or the Foster Care System would face an extreme shortages of homes. Who knows, the orphanages, of days gone by, would have to resurface into operation.
Thankfully this is not the case, because grandparents have seen the need for help and have stepped up to the plate.
However, some parents seem to be ungrateful, or feel that they are still in control of their children.This can cause resentment within the family, and total confusion for the children.
It is strongly advised for all adults, within a family adoption, to seek out a legal Mediator, before any adoptions are final.
Parents need to realize that their roles in the family circle have changed. They are no longer the parent but the brother or sister… or family friend
Lack of communication, before an adoption, can later cause a rift between grandparents and parents. Arguments explode and people become hurt emotionally, not mentioning the stress this places upon the child.
One grandmother stated that after adopting her granddaughter, the biological mother took it upon herself to enroll the child into gymnastics . Even though the grandmother said nothing, and the child hated the classes, she felt forced to taking her adopted daughter to every class, and pay for them.
Another grandmother mentioned that her son insisted on telling everyone that his daughter was “living with” her grandmother. Even though the child was now adopted by the grandparents. This caused the grandmother to become hurt.
Yet another story, a grandmother shared. Her daughter took a fit when she found out that her child was getting a much needed haircut.
When adopting a grandchild, it can be more complex than a normal adoption. Due to the fact that the parents of that child may always be in the picture. A grandparent may feel that even though they have legal rights to raise the child, through adoption; the parent – who comes around often, can be a constant reminder that they are the birth parents; which can be intimidating to the grandparents.
The child may become confused if there are to many “Parent Figures” in the home.
To insure a peaceful home-life for the child, and for the adults involved in their lives, there are two simple, yet essential steps. The first is for all adults to visit with a Mediator prior to the final adoption. Second – Communication is a must; family meetings, without the child present, should be done at least once a month.
If the parent refuses to cooperate with the grandparents, to achieve a healthy environment for the child. A drastic move to exclude the parent from the child’s life may be the best move for everyone.