When people think of adoption, they often think of unrelated adults assuming parental authority over children. While those adoptions are relatively common, familial adoptions are also commonplace in Oregon.
Family members like grandparents sometimes need to step up and assume a caregiver role for their grandchildren. Numerous different family situations might lead to a grandparent adoption.
If any of the three situations below apply to your family, it might be time for you to consider stepping up for your grandkids.
Struggles with addiction
The opioid crisis has stressed American families in an unprecedented way. Parents who absolutely love their children may still struggle with chemical dependency that leaves them unable to truly parent. They may be unable to keep jobs or provide stable housing. They may even struggle to stay conscious while under the influence.
In recent years, opioid addiction has joined alcoholism as one of the more common reasons for grandparents to assume a parental role. When addiction leaves your adult child unable to parent, you can adopt your grandchildren and meet their needs instead of leaving them in an unsafe situation.
Incarceration of a parent
Even if chemical dependence doesn’t lead to neglect or abusive behavior, it could lead to criminal charges. So too could unaddressed mental health issues. Being a parent or having substance abuse issues won’t prevent someone from going to jail if they steal or assault someone.
If your child gets arrested and convicted of a criminal offense, they won’t be able to care for their children while in state custody. Adopting grandchildren because of their parent’s incarceration is a common practice.
Abandonment or termination of parental rights
Sometimes, a parent drops their children off with their grandparents and then leaves. Abandonment may have already forced the day-to-day responsibilities for your grandchildren on you. You may also have stepped into a parental role if the state removed your grandchildren from their parent’s care or terminated their parent’s parental rights.
Physical health issues and mental health problems could also lead to grandparents stepping up into a more parental role. Recognizing that your circumstances may justify your decision to seek custody could help you offer stability to your grandchildren through family adoption.