All over the news, there are stories of how the country is suffering due to an epidemic of opioid addition. Many people with loved ones who have an addiction may feel powerless to manage the situation. The crisis is tearing families apart here in New Jersey and all over. Subsequently, there has been a rise in the number of grandparents who are raising their own grandchildren due to their own children's struggles with opioid addiction. Many may be wondering exactly what are grandparents' rights in these difficult situations.
Two women recount their own experiences with this exact scenario. They both have children who are addicted to drugs, and as a result, they are now raising their own grandchildren. The women both worried that other people would shun them when they learned of their situations, but the two have taken solace in their shared experiences. They say they still face judgment, but they are determined that their personal stories will spar needed change for many families.
One state's statistics say that 5 percent of families are raising grandchildren because of drug addiction or mental illness. Another state found that 90 thousand grandparents are raising about 195 thousand grandchildren. The women's lives seem to be reflected in these figures, and they insist that they only want some assistance and recognition for the efforts of all grandparents in this situation. One of the women is owed child support from her son since she has full legal guardianship of her grandson.
Grandparents in New Jersey who are caring for their grandchildren may struggle to understand exactly what rights they have in this scenario. Consulting an attorney who is knowledgeable about grandparents' rights may be the best option available to them. A lawyer will be able to explain exactly what is permissible under the law and what the future may hold. Hopefully, it will be a brighter tomorrow for everyone involved.