Families come in all shapes and sizes. Many children are currently being raised by adoptive parents, single mothers or fathers, siblings, grandparents, or other people who are not their biological parents. If you are a grandparent who wishes to obtain guardianship of your grandchild, you probably have many questions about this legal process. There are a few different ways that grandparents can be granted legal guardianship of their grandchild. In many cases, help from a qualified family law attorney can be a valuable asset for grandparents who are unsure of how to start pursuing guardianship of their grandchild.
Voluntary Relinquishment of Parental Rights
There are many reasons that a grandparent may want to obtain guardianship of their child’s child. Sometimes, the biological parents are struggling with personal issues which make them unable to care for their child. Other times, biological parents choose to let grandparents raise their child because they had the child at a very young age. One way that grandparents can take guardianship of a child is if the biological parents voluntarily give up their parental rights. Once the biological parents have relinquished their legal rights to the child, grandparents have an opportunity to adopt the child.
Parents Who Are Abusive or Neglectful of Their Children
Sadly, some children end up living with their grandparents because their own parents were guilty of child abuse or neglect. If you know that a child is being abused or neglected, contact the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). This agency will investigate the situation and will make sure that a child who is in danger is taken to a safe environment as soon as possible. The DCFS is also responsible for making long term plans to protect the child’s safety and find the child a safe place to live....