Gaining legal guardianship or custody of your grandchildren can be a challenging undertaking, in addition to sometimes being heartbreaking and frustrating. If you find yourself with the task of raising your grandchildren, you are not alone. Countless grandparents in Indiana and elsewhere are the primary caregivers of their grandchildren.
According to the Huffington Post, about 5.8 million children throughout the country live solely with their grandparents. Depending on the circumstances, your situation may be temporary or long-term, if not permanent. There are many reasons grandparents take on the responsibility to bring up their grandchildren, such as substance addiction, incarceration or domestic violence involving the children’s parents. The parents may struggle financially or be going through a divorce, which can also make it difficult to raise their children. In many unfortunate cases, one or both of the parents may have died.
If you believe you will be the legal guardian of your grandchildren for years or until they reach adulthood, you may wish to adopt them. While this is not required, adopting your grandchildren may give you additional tax benefits, such as a federal adoption credit for each grandchild you adopt.
Adopting your grandchildren is a personal decision that requires careful consideration and being as informed as possible about the process and the potential benefits and drawbacks of adopting children. Like other aspects of raising your grandchildren, you may find it difficult and challenging, but also rewarding to give them a chance of living a healthy life. This information is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.