People presume. It's in our nature. And those adult children we cherished spread their own rumor and innuendo. So, let's examine, in no particular order, the crazy ideas people have as to why we would want to be retread parents and how that's going to work.
1.) Grandparents steal their grandchildren because they can't expand their family on their own, and want children who are related to them, rather than adopting strangers.
FACT: I have yet to meet a grandparent who did not want to stay a grandparent. But, for whatever other reasons, out of love for these grandchildren, they took them into their home.
2.) Grandparents want to raise their grandchildren because it makes them feel young again and restores their vigor.
FACT: I know only one guy who wanted to do this. I guess he is the only guy who wanted to make grandchildren and steal them. He purposely left his young teen daughter alone with boys and left, hoping she would get pregnant. He got angry when she did not. His daughter eventually left because of his abuse, to live with her mother's family, her mother being dead. This so-called gentleman eventually "bought" a child from one of the neighborhood girls in a family way, after my baby sister turned him down on the purchase of one of my beautiful nieces and nephews.
Otherwise, raising a grandchild does not make one feel young. You are all advised to eat nutritionally, exercise regularly however you can best afford to do so, and get plenty of sleep (Take a nap every day if retired). Those kids are going to keep you busy. This is not a sprint, but a marathon.
3.) Grandparents are critical of their adult children, and took the children based belittling and controlling the adult child.
FACT: Let me introduce you to Grandma Jane and Grandpa Jim. They live in the suburbs of San Francisco. They raised four children. Good members of the LDS, they raised their children in the tenants of their faith. The kids joined Little League, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, went to parties and dances, had friends to the house. All the children grew up, save one, married, had families, live all over the country, but still go to see Jane and Jim. Jane and Jim looked forward to an empty nest and grandchildren when they wanted them to visit.
Then there was Peter.
For whatever reason, Peter decided he preferred drugs. Jane and Jim did their very best to see that Peter did not feel loathing for his drug use, but that he did have opportunities for rehab. Instead, Peter chose to have sex with a young woman who was also a drug addict.
The result of that union was Robby. Robby has lived with Jane and Jim since he was six months old, because Peter and his ex-girlfriend did not feel compelled to care for Robby. Robby is now 13. Grandma and Grandpa do right by Robby.
Jane and Jim, good Californians, still feel maybe it is good for Robby to see Peter and his mother, when they can find their way to Jane and Jim's door. They don't want Peter or his ex to feel they are ever intrusive, ever an inconvenience or just plain a problem.
4.) If the adult child turned out badly, that is the fault of his or her parents, and the grandchildren will also turn out badly. They should be placed in foster care.
FACT: Foster care is jammed with kids. In most states, children's protective services welcome grandparents and other other relatives who will take the children.
More importantly, it is a fallacy to believe that every parent who has an adult child who has chosen to do evil or wrong caused it. There comes a time when a person has to stand on his or her own two feet, and make his own decisions, accepting the consequences for his or her actions.
Besides, many of these families have siblings who have gone astray also have teens and adult children who are making it in college and high school. They are not doing drugs, going on drinking binges, or sexxing it up with their peers. They do not rob banks, sell drugs, or lock themselves into their homes threatening to kill themselves and their children. These aunts and uncles have been known to help out with their abandoned nieces and nephews.
5.) Grandparents have plenty of money in retirement savings, and can easily afford more children.
FACT: Grandparents may not have enough money to retire themselves, let alone raise grandchildren.
6.) Grandparents who raise grandchildren will spoil them as a matter of course.
FACT: Grandparents raising grandchildren bend over backwards to avoid any mistakes they made with their errant adult child.
7.) Grandparents are too old to raise grandchildren.
FACT: Not always.
Some people are made grandparents as young as 33. Some sixty-somethings and seventy-somethings run marathons and do Ironmen competitions. It's not cast in stone.
8.) There are plenty of resources out there for grandparents raising grandchildren.
FACT: There are maybe four books out there, and not very helpful. Government agencies either write at the fifth grade level and skip information, or write as if they work for Microsoft and explain in too much detail. Grandparents.com is filled to the gills in its fora with grandparents looking for more info on raising the grandkids. There is not much to offer.
9.) Parents always have precedence in court over grandparents, and can come get their kids any time.
FACT: To a degree. Parents who hold down a regularly paying job, keep a clean home, have friends and normal life should be raising their children. Parents who do drugs, drink to excess, have flashbacks, have bipolar episodes and don't treat their symptoms, who molest their children, pimp their children, run off with the first bozo or floozy that comes along abandoning their children- See you in court. Your best bet is to sign over your rights to Grandma or Grandpa now. Save your time, money and energy for the pursuits that got you in this mess in the first place.
10.) Grandchildren will grow up to hate their grandparents for raising them and not giving them back to their parents.
FACT: I have been interviewing adult grandchildren raised in their grandparents' homes. I have talked with a few who feel little toward their parents. A few are downright angry with their parents. None have expressed a desire to contact parents who have abandoned them.
They love their grandparents. They are appreciative for being rescued and given a chance in this world. Some have said their grandparents saved their lives.