Drug abuse is one of the most serious social problems currently facing our nation. In cases in which the addict has children, the situation becomes far more complicated, as the safety and well-being of the children must be placed above the needs and desires of the parent. In many of these cases, the grandparents step in to provide for the care of their grandchildren, in California and across the nation. This scenario can lead to a number of child custody issues, however, and care should be taken to ensure that the placement remains in effect as long as necessary.
Grandparents who are raising their grandchildren must cope with a number of challenges, ranging from the physical demands of raising kids to the emotional turmoil of their new role. Most grandparents in this unfortunate position must balance their desire to help their child overcome drug addiction with the very real concern that the child could bring harm to the grandchildren in their care. For many, the placement may have been intended to be temporary, but turns into a permanent solution when the parent fails to provide an adequate home for the children.
While no parent wants to take their own child to court to wrest away their parental rights, in some cases this approach is the best possible solution for the children. Parents with substance abuse problems are not functioning in an optimal state of mental health, and can be very aggressive and manipulative toward their parents, even as they rely upon them to raise their children. It is not unheard of for a drug addicted parent to simply come and take the children out of their home, which can lead to a high level of stress and emotional instability for the kids, as well as the grandparents.
The best protection for the children involved in these types of living situation in stability; knowing that they have a loving home in which they will be cared for. The best way to ensure this is to have one’s rights detailed through a legal proceeding. In cases in which drug abuse is a demonstrable fact, the courts are usually open to granting child custody rights to the grandparents who are raising the children. This can help reduce the stress level for all involved, and give California grandparents the legal tools needed to keep their grandchildren safe and sound.
Source: wkyt.com, “Drug epidemic leaves many children being raised by grandparents,” Hillary Thornton, Jan. 2, 2013