In Minnesota, when someone who has a pre-existing family relationship with a minor child chooses to adopt that child, they engage in what the state calls a kinship adoption. Grandparent adoptions are among the most common kinship adoptions, as grandparents often have little choice but to step up in the event that their grandchildren need help.

If your child has died, wound up incarcerated, experienced extreme medical hardship or had their parental rights terminated by the state of Minnesota, it may be time to consider whether a grandparent adoption would be best for the grandkids that you love.

A kinship adoption gives you and the kids formal protection

Many grandparents who choose to step into a parental role for their grandchildren do so in the hopes that their child will eventually come back and resume their parental authority. However, not making your relationship with the children formal can leave you and them in a very vulnerable position.

In some cases, the other parent could show up and demand custody of the children. If you haven’t formally adopted them, you may not be able to fight that change. It’s also important to understand that when you do adopt your grandchildren, it will make a number of valuable state resources available both to you and to them.

Formal adoption can give your grandchildren a sense of family and place and let them know that there is someone who will always be there for them no matter what. While you may not have planned to raise your grandchildren, if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it in the way that will be best for everyone in your family, which might include a kinship adoption.