In many ways, modern families often seem more complicated than traditional nuclear families. Couples don't feel compelled to marry just because they want to have children or buy a house anymore. With both parents working, grandparents, aunts and uncles, or even older cousins may play a larger role in the lives of small children.
Grandparents who provide housing or child care for their grandchildren often develop a strong bond with those children. Even those who could only see their grandchildren infrequently likely still have a deep-seated love for those little ones.
In the event that one or both of the parents loses their legal right to the children or becomes unable to provide care, grandparents in Indiana may have the right to seek legal placement or adoption of their grandchildren. This situation can preserve the family unit and can protect the children from the instability that comes from foster or adoptive placement.
Indiana recognizes the rights of grandparents
Not many states have working grandparents rights laws in place, but Indiana does. Grandparents in this state have the right to seek visitation if the custodial parent refuses to allow them to interact with their grandchildren.
In the event that the parents cannot retain custody of the children, grandparents and Indiana also have the right to seek placement of the children in their home, up to and including legal adoption of grandchildren.
There are many benefits to grandparent custody or adoption for children facing upheaval at home. They likely already have a positive relationship with their grandparents, which means that transitioning into their grandparents' care will not be as difficult as transitioning into the home of the stranger. More importantly, it could help protect their sense of family as emotional and mental health is likely vulnerable.
Many different situations call for you to flex your rights
The scourge of opioid addiction has impacted Indiana quite a bit in recent years. Parents who truly love their children may struggle so deeply with addiction that they cannot provide adequate care for their kids. For parents who are arrested as a result of drug use, or are facing child neglect or abuse allegations, the state may intervene and terminate their parental rights.
Other legal situations, including violent criminal charges or previous issues with abuse, neglect or abandonment, could impact whether parents can legally retain custody of their children. It is also possible for young parents to pass away due to illness or an accident without creating a last will that names someone to care for the children.
In any of these situations or another scenario that leaves a child potentially vulnerable to foster placement, grandparents in Indiana have the right to seek placement of the children and consider adoption.
While you may not have planned to spend your golden years raising another generation of your family, it may be the best decision for everyone involved. Standing up for your rights as a grandparent and protecting your grandchildren is a rewarding experience, even if it is a difficult one.