Grandparent adoption can be the result of many not-so-fortunate circumstances. Most notably the death or incarceration of the birth parents. If you are facing these events or others that may have lead to circumstances where you need to take custody of your grandchildren come about, there are several options you have as the biological grandparents. Of them all, adoption is the most serious.
As adoption is a permanent exchange of rights from the previous guardian to the new, if the parents are not dead this may lead to complications down the line. Generally speaking, adoption will be legally granted in most cases where the child's parents are deceased, have consensually given up custody, or have otherwise had their parent-child rights terminated by an outside entity.
The process of adoption solidifies the relationship between you and your adoptive child. In this case, your grandchildren. This legally establishes the same parent-child rights the child's birth parents previously had ownership of. The grandparent adoption process is thorough. Like any adoption, the child will legally have their name changed to align with their adoptive parents'. Procedures even go so far as to require child support payments in instances where the adoptive parents (grandparents in this case) divorce. The resulting adoption agreement is nothing less than binding and the legal relationship between child and grandparent will be permanently changed.
Though, if the parents are not deceased grandparents still have options when seeking adoption of their grandchildren. This is especially true in cases of neglect. If neglect is suspected or discovered, grandparents have the right to petition for permission to adopt. This process can be rather complex and even overwhelming for an individual with no knowledge of local law practices and regulations. While the courts will always make decisions hoping to promote the wellbeing of the child, getting in touch with your local law professional will help you get the answers you need for the optimal grandparent adoption process.