Welcome Back…Really?

Many of us are at the age when our children have grown, physically and in years, and yet, there is still something about their judgment that continues to make us wince. For whatever reason, blame it on the economy; blame it on changing values; blame it on…what difference does it make? Many of our children, by exhibiting what they think is “adult behavior,” land back home to the safety net of mom and/or dad, or other family members, with suitcase in hand, duffle bag, or backpack, maybe a guitar slung over one shoulder, or unfinished manuscript, with a baby on one hip. Or, standing in your threshold, perhaps pregnant, with or without the expectant father, or the expectant father with expectant mother or not. And sometimes, one or both of the partners are haunted with abuse issues that take a nasty hold. The manifestation of abuse takes refuge with: abuse of drugs, alcohol, physical, emotional, psychological, and/or sexual.

What’s a parent to do? The calm and accepting approach is to let this play out. Unfortunately, as parents, we are instinctive enablers. Enabling detracts from the main focus and concern which must be directed to our children and the children born to our children.

If the parent(s) agree, for the time being, that it is in the child’s best interests that they not parent the child, and you, as the grandparents are ready, willing and able, consider filing a Petition for Guardianship of a Minor, where the parents assent to the petition. The parents should understand that having guardianship of the child is not permanent and their parental rights will not be terminated. The Guardianship Petition may always be dismissed, if the guardian and parents of the child agree. Or by Order of the Court.

If there is no agreement, the standard for Guardianship of a Minor is that the parent(s) are unavailable or not fit to exercise their parental rights. In either circumstance, reasons must be given to support the unavailability or unfitness statement. If an extreme emergency exists, file the Petition for Guardianship of a Minor, accompanied by an Ex Parte Motion for Temporary Guardianship. The Ex Parte Motion may be allowed without notice to the parent(s), because an emergency exists and time is of the essence. This will buy some time (at best ten days) to set a plan into motion to address what is truly in the best interest of the child.

Oftentimes, when a child is born with drugs in his or her system, the Department of Children and Families (“DCF”) will appear, looking for a suitable home for the child. Grandparents, come forward! Or siblings, or aunts, uncles or cousins. What must be conveyed to the children who gave birth to the babies, is that nothing is permanent, but it is expected that they will learn, tackle issues and once solid progress is made, seek to regain custody of their child (ren).

If steps are not taken to assuage the situation, it will only put the child (ren), your child and grandchild (ren) more at risk. Here’s to all of the children in our world!! Everyone needs and deserves the best care and love on all counts for an equal playing field in this life.

If you or someone you know is in the midst of this nightmare (and it is a nightmare, when two irresponsible people allow a human being to come in to this world, caused by their inability to think beyond their own needs) please call or email me. I know my K&G TEAM can help.

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