Why do grandparents adopt their grandchildren in Louisiana?

Although information from the recent 2020 Census may change things, current data places Louisiana in the top five states where grandparents end up filling the role of parents for their grandchildren. There were roughly 67,000 grandparents supporting their grandchildren across the state when the last Census occurred.

Many grandparents who live with, care for and support their grandchildren do so in informal arrangements. Others have taken the legal step of adopting their grandchildren. Why is an in-family adoption helpful for a grandparent?

Adoption can protect your relationship with your grandchildren

If you are one of those grandparents raising your children’s children, you may wonder when to change your household’s status. That answer differs for every family, but it is often when you realize your responsibilities will be indefinite — if not permanent.

If you don’t adopt, there can be issues that arise that could sever your relationships with your grandchildren. For example, if your adult child just dropped the grandkids off at your door one day and vanished, you may have felt that you had no choice but to take over the parental role. Months or years later, however, your child could show up out of the blue and demand the kids back.

Adoption ensures that you are the one responsible for the kids and that your relationship with them isn’t vulnerable if your child or their partner changes their mind about parenting in the future.

Adoption can help your family access different resources

The benefits and support systems that you and your grandchildren can rely on depend largely on your household and family circumstances. While there are skating supports for grandparents raising their grandchildren, it can be easier for your family to get certain services after adoption.

A familial adoption can be a good option for grandparents whose child has had their parental rights terminated by the state or who has effectively abandoned the children.