Sometimes grandparents have to step in and care for their grandchild. Be it accidental death, drug addiction, or abandonment, the reasons why this occurs varies from one case to the next, but what occasionally happens is that grandparents want to become guardians for their grandchild or grandchildren. If you are one such grandparent then you may find the following information to be of use.
What is a guardianship?
A guardianship is basically a substitute parent. It is a legal relationship in which you are responsible for providing your grandchild with food, shelter, clothing, proper medical care, a proper education, etc. The natural parents, if still living, will retain some of their rights and could, potentially, seek to regain custody. Some states make guardianships more permanent and that they will last until the child reaches the age of majority (i.e., his or her 18th birthday).
Why should a grandparent seek guardianship?
A guardianship is a good option when the grandparents want to make more of a long-term commitment to the child, and seek to have the authority to make decisions about the child. As a grandparent, the guardianship gives you the right to make daily decisions about your grandchild’s health, safety, and welfare. This means that a guardianship may offer you more rights than simply having legal custody of your grandchild; for example, you may not be able to make medical decisions for your grandchild or add them to your health insurance if you only have legal custody.