Recent statistics suggest that more and more grandparents, in Massachusetts and elsewhere, are involved in raising their minor grandchildren until they reach adulthood. According to Census statistics, a little over 1 in 20 homes had a grandchild living with at least one of their grandparents. This is double the number of children living with grandparents in 1970. Of these households, 60 percent actually had the grandparents, or one of them, as the responsible adult in the home.
This means that across the country, there are over 2.5 million grandparents trying to raise their grandchildren, as of 2016. This is an increase of 7 percent over where this figure was in 2009.
Moreover, the suspected reasons for this trend are troubling. In many cases, grandparents are involved in their grandchildren's lives because the parents have to work odd hours or travel to find work, particularly in areas outside major urban hubs. Unfortunately, the country's ongoing problems with opioid painkillers have also left many parents addicted and unable to care for their children, meaning that grandparents have to step up and fill in the gap.
The bottom line is that many grandparents in Springfield may find themselves in a situation where they are raising their grandchildren. In these sorts of cases, grandparents may need legal authority to do things like take their grandchildren to the doctor, enroll them in school or daycare or the like.
Doing this could require going through the process of obtaining guardianship of a minor, which can be accomplished with the help of an experienced Massachusetts attorney.