Does adopting your grandchild make you more parent or grandparent?

Family structures vary greatly from the ideal composition of mother, father and children to the point that grandparents can often take over the role of parent. It is very unfortunate when those who are not fit to have children become parents while tragedies can leave children without their parents; however, many children have the benefit of grandparents who will adopt and care for them.

Adoption of grandchildren leaves a grandparent taking on a double role as a parent and grandparent. On the other hand, the needs, which parents normally provide their children with, must be fulfilled by the grandparents, so grandparents become more parent than grandparent.

Shelter, nutritional needs, health care, clothing, education and proper discipline along with psychological and emotional support are the basic necessities of all children as well as adults. Whether these basic human needs are provided by the biological parents, grandparents or any other form of guardian, children cannot be expected to thrive without someone to provide for these essential needs.

Moreover, children, who lose their parents or come from neglectful and abusive homes, have a greater need for loving, supportive guardians who can provide stability. Grandparents, who take on the responsibility of caring for their grandchildren, clearly represent parental figures while they also take on the more friend-like, quasi-parent role that supportive grandparents normally fill. However, all children have a tendency to resist authority as they seek ways of defining themselves as individuals and unique members of social groups, so grandparents must expect to fulfill a stronger disciplinary role when the parents are gone.

Furthermore, while it is the parent-grandparents responsibility to protect their grandchild from the dangers of the world and their own lack of wisdom, children often find any means of undercutting any authority a parental figure has over them. This may result in a child attempting to devalue the parent role of a voluntary parent by raising the fact that the guardian is not the real parent. It is certain such statements are insulting and hurtful, but it is the new parent’s duty to move beyond this insecurity to be parents to children who are in need of stability and support.

Moreover, there are plenty of close families with supportive and respectful relationships that revere the grandparents as parents of all family members. Therefore, grandparents, who take on the full responsibilities of parents, are not oddities or awkward relationships. In fact, grandparents are probably one of the most logical choices for guardians when a child’s parents cannot fulfill the role as parent because their parenting techniques will likely be similar while they are more experienced and have had the opportunity to learn from their mistakes as parents.

Families are social structures that are supposed to support family members and help provide for the needs of the younger generations. Furthermore, there is a sense of apprehension that often comes from grandparents, who do not want to interfere in their children’s parenting. Grandparents do need to respect those decisions, but in the absence of parents, grandparents must recognize they are the parents.