Grandparent Adoption Laws

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Most Common Family Law Issues:

What Custody Arrangements Are Available to Grandparents?

While grandparents don't exactly have a parenting rights in their grandchildren, they do have other options. If a grandparent wishes to have a more permanent parental arrangement for their grandchild, three common arrangements to consider are:

With respect to a permanent, parental relationship, adoption is the proper arrangement. Since an adoption severs the legal relationship between the child and previous parent, they will no longer be a “grandparent” for legal purposes, but instead viewed as the child’s actual parent.

What Are Some Common Reasons for Grandparent Adoption?

The main reason why a grandparent would adopt their grandchild is that the natural parents have become incapacitated or are deceased. In such cases it becomes favorable for a new parent-child relationship to be formed. Other common reasons are:

Are There Different Types of Adoption Available?

Yes, some different types of adoption are:

The adoption process usually involves filing a petition in court, giving notice to the parents (if they are available), and attending a hearing where a judge finalizes the adoption decision.

As a Grandparent, Is Adoption Right for Me and My Grandchild?

Grandparents are given special considerations with adoption, but it may not always be the right decision. Some pros and cons of adopting as a grandparent are:
 

Should I Hire a Lawyer?

Adoption laws vary widely from state to state. For this reason, the services of a competent attorney can be indispensable in filing an adoption claim. Also, if your adoption process involves a dispute or is being contested by the natural parents, a lawyer can help you present your case as to why you should be the legal parent of the child. Many family law attorneys specialize in the laws governing grandparent adoption.

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Last Modified: 07-15-2014 08:02 AM PDT

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