How Is the Opioid Crisis Contributing to Grandparent Child Care?

Grandparent custody of children is becoming increasingly common today. It’s happening for a variety of reasons. Among the reasons is the opioid crisis in America.

Grandparent Custody Statistics

An article published in The Atlantic stated that since 1970, the number of children living with grandparents has doubled. Since 2013, the number has increased by 7 percent. Furthermore, the recent surge in percentage is due to the opioid crisis.

An estimated 3 percent of children throughout the nation live apart from their parents. In fact, of those 3 percent, two-thirds live with their grandparents, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control). Approximately 2.6 million grandparents are raising their grandchildren today. Reasons include:

  • Military deployment
  • Job loss
  • Mental illness
  • Divorce
  • Incarceration
  • Death
  • Drug addiction

Many grandparents have not gone through the legal system to obtain formal custody. Their custody is de facto. But even so, without formal custody, they often face challenges. As a result, they may face financial hardship figuring out how to pay their medical and dental bills. Or without social assistance, they may struggle with how to afford the child’s food, shelter, clothing and educational expenses.

Grandparent Adoption in Texas

Adoption is a possible solution to the problem of grandparent custody. For instance, it is one way to obtain legal status.

When you adopt your grandchild, you’ll have the legal right to make medical decisions for the child. You will also be able to obtain insurance by designating the child as a beneficiary. Also, establishing your role as caregiver will  provide you and your grandchild with a sense of emotional stability and permanence.

The first step in obtaining child custody is for the parent to relinquish parental rights. Adoption also requires a home study, the child’s consent and a court hearing.

Do You Have Concerns About Grandparent Custody?

You can discuss your situation with our attorneys at Richardson Brown. Find out how we can help.