Millions of children across America now live with their grandparents who act as their primary or sole guardians. There are many reasons grandparents return to parenthood to raise their grandchildren. One of the main reasons is drug use, specifically as it relates to opioids.
For years, grandparents have struggled against laws that give them few rights to act as legal guardians to children and make key decisions. However, a federal law that took effect in 2018 might offer some solutions.
Stable home for children
AARP reports that 2.6 million children live with their grandparents. Experts predict that this number will only continue to grow as the opioid epidemic and other public health concerns worsen in America. When grandparents step into parenting roles, children get the opportunity to remain with the family and might even reunite with sober parents in the future.
Resources for grandparents
Forbes adds that the act helps to provide grandparents with the resources they need to raise children in the modern world. Technology has drastically changed the parenting landscape and there are new risks to prepare children for and protect them from. Grandparents also get access to resources for their own wellbeing as protecting their emotional health is important too.
Because the program began in 2018, it is now due for a report on how well it has performed as well as any upcoming changes. It is not clear if Congress intends to expand grandparent rights in light of any new developments.
Returning to parenthood while nearing or already in retirement is a difficult task. The act does not provide solutions to all the obstacles grandparents face, but it does provide a starting place Congress might aim to build on.