For most parents, the assumption is that when children reach adulthood and move out, they can move on from the responsibilities of raising children to enjoy their golden years. When their children have kids, they can become doting grandparents, the kind who take kids on fun outings and spoil them with toys. Sadly, more grandparents in Nebraska are taking up the responsibilities of parents when their children prove unable to handle them.
For these loving and devoted grandparents, raising a second generation of children isn’t really a choice. It’s a necessity, resulting from their children losing custody of the grandchildren or ending up incarcerated. Substance abuse can also play a significant role.
As of 2016, there were more than 10,000 grandparents in Nebraska raising their grandchildren, according to data from the United States Census. These grandparents may end up sacrificing their retirement plans and funds to help support and care for their grandchildren.
Of course, getting raised by family members is inherently safer and generally better for children than going into foster care or group homes. A grandparent can provide a loving home, stability and an ongoing connection to the children’s parent. All of those factors can reduce the negative impact of separation from parents on the children involved.
For grandparents who worry about the future of their grandchildren, it may be possible to seek custody under Nebraska law. If your children or your child’s spouse or ex may soon lose custody, you should consider whether you have the time, health and resources to care for the children. In many cases, you could provide them a better home and future than they could otherwise have after being taken away from their parents.