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Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Because of Drugs

Clarkston Legal May 24, 2016

Several websites have cropped-up devoted to grandparents placed in the tough and unenviable position of raising their grandchildren because their own children are incapable of doing so due to drug addiction.

Here is a sample of these websites:

Grandparents raising grandchildren these days often has a heroin addiction component to the story. No longer can we ignore the surge in heroin use among young addicts in the suburbs across the nation.

Between 2000 and 2014, the NYT reports an 8% increase in the number of households where a grandparent is raising their grandchild. There is a high correlation between these 2.6 million households and drug addiction.

Once addicted, all of the good intentions, interventions and other assistance of the families is useless unless the addict truly desires to change. Many of these young parents never make it, either dying or getting incarcerated for escalating crimes, and leaving the grandparents to raise the children.

The mechanism for making the grandparents legally responsible for their grandchildren is a minor guardianship. The downside to such an arrangement is that it is not necessarily designed to be a permanent arrangement; a biological parent in Michigan can petition to terminate the Grandparent guardianship at any time.

While such a petition does not mean a probate judge will automatically grant the relief requested, such petitions tend to disturb the tranquility and security of the child’s world with court hearings and their attendant uncertainty.

If you or a family member are facing a difficult situation involving grandchildren or minor guardianships, give our office a call to review your options in a free consultation.