When a parent cannot perform as an adequate provider for their children any longer, and the child is in danger of being submitted to the foster care system, it is often the child’s grandparent or grandparents that step up and assume the role of a guardian for their grandchild. This is not an idle undertaking and should not be trivialized. If you are considering becoming a guardian for your grandchild, or for any child, really, then the following questions and answers may be of use to you.
Do guardianships ever lead to adoption?
Yes. A guardian-grandparent has the right to seek partial or full custody if it’s in the best interests of the child. Of course, this simplifies it quite a bit; there are factors that go into considering the best interests of the child, and in this case that includes such things as the child’s health, safety and welfare.
Is the court required to conduct an investigation of the parent’s fitness before granting a guardianship?
No, not necessarily. Some states may allow the court to grant guardianship without an investigation, though because each state has a different set of laws that apply in this situation, you’ll always need to consult with an attorney about the laws that apply in your case.
Can a parent regain parental custody?
Perhaps. In order to do so, the parent will need to show an interest in the child (i.e., visit), and get his/her act together so he/she can show they’re capable of providing a safe and stable living environment.