A California woman recently graduated from a major university with honors after social workers warned her now adoptive parents that she would probably suffer from learning disabilities. As an education major, she has completed her student teaching and now is looking for jobs as an art instructor, although some of her peers described her as naturally gifted at teaching youth from rough backgrounds. For some, her gift comes as no surprise since; her birth mother had an ongoing addiction to crack, and she was born with the drug in her system.
Thankfully, as a toddler, her foster parents, a married California couple, adopted her, along with three of her younger siblings when the mother apparently could not take care of them either. The foster parents refused to believe the experts' prediction that she would be "slow." The foster parents described a long and bumpy haul when they talked about their journey toward adopting these four children, and they even had to go through a child custody battle after one of the children's relatives attempted to assert grandparent rights.
While this refreshing story involved foster parents, it should offer some hope and consolation to California grandparents and other relatives who are currently raising their grandchildren (or sibling, cousin, etc.). While California law places premium value on parental rights and protects those rights zealously, in situations of abuse and neglect, California authorities may look at grandparent custody as an option.
Grandparents who have concern for the well-being of their grandchildren should try to maintain a consistent relationship with them and should not hesitate to call the proper authorities if they suspect child abuse or neglect.
Situations of abuse and neglect are never pleasant for children or for their concerned family members. Hopefully, loving grandparents could step in and not only rescue their grandchild from a dangerous situation but also help their grandchild realize his or her full potential and achieve wonderful success in adulthood.
Source: The Charlotte Observer, "Destiny Harris, born to crack addict, graduates at UNCC with honors," David Prelmutt, Dec. 14, 2012