Becoming a grandparent is a life event that most people look forward to. But more and more often, we see women decide to place their baby with their parents to be raised. This may be due to the parent’s inability or unwillingness to care for the child. Whatever the reason, grandparents sometimes step in to raise their grandchildren.
This situation creates many questions. One big question that you might have right now is “can I place my grandchild for adoption?”
What custody rights do grandparents have?
According to LegalMatch, every state is different regarding how a grandparent can get custody of a grandchild. It’s presumed that the parents should decide who can have contact with their child.
Most states are hesitant to give custody to a grandparent unless their circumstances warrant it. A state may allow custody rights if the parents are unable to care for the baby, but this decision will always be made in the baby’s best interest. The court looks at how long the parent has been unable to care for their baby and how long the grandparent has been the main caregiver. Custody may be given to willing grandparents sooner in certain circumstances, such as:
- Death or imprisonment of a parent
- Substance abuse
- Serious physical incapacity
- Mental incapacity
Having legal custody means you have the right to make decisions about your grandchild’s upbringing. This means you can make decisions about the baby’s education, medical care, and religious upbringing. If you have legal custody of your grandchild, you can place your grandchild for adoption.
When should a grandparent place a baby for adoption?
Many grandparents make the decision to adopt their grandchild. Other grandparents struggle to parent their child’s baby and choose to place the child in an open adoption. If you are the legal guardian of your grandchild, you must make the right choice for the child and for yourself. Only you can make that choice, but there are some things you should consider.
Situations can change quickly.
It’s important to remember that when you’re older, circumstances can change quickly. You may love your grandchild and feel like you should raise the baby, but you must be realistic about your circumstances, especially if you’re older.
Older people are more prone to falls, disease, and debilitating conditions. It’s easy to let your heart rule over your head in situations like this, but take a deep breath and step back. Think about what would be best for the child.
Placing the baby for adoption may actually be the most loving thing you could do. Placing the child with younger parents who love one another and have the capacity to raise the baby in the long-term is the most loving thing you could do for your grandchild.
Open adoption means you can still be a part of your grandchild’s life.
Open adoption allows you to choose the parents for your grandchild. You can choose Christian parents who are open to you having contact with your grandbaby through visits, emails, texts, or letters. You can still be a part of your grandchild’s life, but you won’t have the primary responsibility of raising the child.
Many wonderful adoptive families are looking to adopt a baby. Your grandbaby could be the answer to their prayers. You’ll have an immense sense of peace knowing that if something does happen to you, your grandbaby will be well-cared-for their entire life.
Be honest with yourself.
Of course you love your grandbaby. It’s a hard decision for you to place a baby for adoption, but you must put your feelings aside and focus on what is best for the baby and you.
Raising a child is a big job. Perhaps you’ve already raised children and now find yourself potentially doing it all over again. You may feel torn between loving the child and wanting to see them grow up but feeling uncertain that you can do it. Take a good hard look at yourself and ask yourself if you’re really ready to raise and provide for a child for the next 18 years.
Adoption is a loving choice.
Adoption can give your grandchild a wonderful, loving, Christian, adoptive family and you the peace of mind knowing you’ve made the best choice for your grandchild’s future. Choosing to place your grandchild is a selfless decision. It’s not easy, but you’re keeping the child’s needs first.
If you have questions, you can always talk to the expert adoption coordinators at Lifetime Adoption. These folks bring a caring perspective with their years of experience helping people make adoption placement. They will be happy to talk to you and walk your feelings and help you make the right choice for you and your grandchild. Just call or text Lifetime Adoption at 1-800-923-6784.
As the Vice President (VP) of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.