I have written a few blog posts about the difficulties grandparents face when trying to obtain custody or access to their minor grandchildren if the biological or adopted parents of the child do not want them to have custody or even access.
However, According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau responses, 2.7 million grandchildren are being raised by their grandparents. These grandparents give up their retirement and take over the responsibilities of being a full-time primary caregiver.
Custody Options for Grandparents
There are three custody options for grandparents:
1. legal custody (will need to prove both biological/adopted parents are either unfit and/or exceptional circumstances have occurred),
2. guardianship (extremely hard to obtain these days),
Guardianship, which is becoming more and more difficult to obtain in Maryland, even more so than custody. Guardianship is similar to legal custody in that it is a legal relationship between grandparent and grandchild that is ordered by a court. With legal custody, grandparents accept the day-to-day caregiving responsibilities for the child, while parents retain some of their rights. The primary difference between guardianship and legal custody is that guardianship is usually handled in probate court.