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Census: At least 4.9M children being raised by grandparents

Georgia families may have heard about the sharp rise in the number of grandparents who are now raising their grandchildren. According to figures from the 2010 U.S. Census, at least 4.9 million children are being raised by their grandparents. Back in 2000, however, the number was 2.4 million; this represents a huge increase in just ten years.

The increase reflects the fact that children who are unable to reside with their biological parents for one reason or another are placed by federal government agencies into the care of a familiar friend or family member. In many of these cases, grandparents make the perfect parent-substitute that both child and parent will appreciate since the same family values that the parent was raised with will most likely be passed along to the grandchild, according to the Child Welfare Information Gateway.

Resources are available to assist grandparents in the task of bringing up their grandchildren. Information from federal government, state and local agencies abound and includes health and safety advice, childhood development facts, financial benefits and offers. Another resource, the AARP's "GrandFamilies Guide," provides a wealth of information regarding the documents grandparents need to bring up their grandchildren, including parental consent forms, medical records, birth certificates, school paperwork, death certificates of any deceased parent, Social Security cards, citizenship documentation, and power of attorney and guardianship documents.

Parents are legally responsible to financially support and care for their children. Sometimes, however, a parent is unfit to care for the child safely because of an addiction to drugs and alcohol or mental, emotional or financial instability. In such cases, people who seek to obtain sole custody of a child involved in these circumstances could retain a family law attorney to assist them with the legal process and to present them with all the available options in regard to resolving child support issues.

Source: Deseret News, "At granny's house: More children raised by grandparents than before", Lois M. Collins,, August 05, 2014

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