Grandparents raising grandkids
BY World's Editorials Writers
Monday, October 22, 2012
10/22/12 at 2:43 AM
Grandparents don't receive nearly enough recognition for stepping in and raising grandchildren when the need arises. Most of these dedicated caregivers don't do it for the glory - they do it because they think it's the right thing to do for the child.
Most make their sacrifices quietly, willingly and lovingly and don't consider their efforts an actual sacrifice. But it often is financially.
They could use some help - even modest help - says state Rep.-elect Jon Echols, a private attorney who handles mostly contested adoptions. At an interim study session last week, he encouraged House Judiciary Committee members to consider ways to help the increasing number of grandparents raising their grandchildren.
Oklahoma is among the top states where grandparents are rearing grandchildren - as many as 8.6 percent of children in Oklahoma are being raised in a grandparent-headed household. Part of the reason for the shift is the state's high rates of substance abuse, poverty and incarceration. Oklahoma has far too many children who have one or both parents behind bars.
Rep. Ann Cody requested the interim study. She strongly believes that the state should come up with creative ways to help those grandparents, who are saving the state money. Some assistance might boil down to making uncontested adoptions easier and less costly.
Oklahoma owes these grandparents its gratitude. In many instances if the grandparents hadn't stepped in to provide care the children might have ended up in state custody with taxpayers footing the bill for their care in foster homes.
Original Print Headline: They need support