Not everyone decided to have children when they were younger or perhaps they couldn’t due to health, or perhaps even financial or other personal reasons. If you’re one of those people, you no longer have to envy your friends who have grandchildren. There is a way you can still become a grandparent. Read on for the interesting details…
Surrogate Grandparent: Is It For You?
You may be pleasantly surprised to know that a growing new trend is occurring all around the country, and in Europe, in which young families are actually seeking people to become their child’s surrogate grandparent.
The truth is that many younger people have lost their parents before, or just after, their children were born, and their little ones have missed out on the special bond that grandparents offer. In other scenarios, the would-be grandparents may be alive but living in another country, or too ill or disabled, to do much with their grandchildren.
In addition, many of those parentless parents are also missing the nurturing friendship of a mother or father and would gladly welcome an older, parent-figure, friend in their life as well as a grandparent in their child’s.
Typically, people seeking surrogate parent/grandparents might place an ad the same way one finds a surrogate mother to carry a pregnancy for them – generally in a discreet newspaper, magazine or online ad. Initial contact may be through emails, phone calls, or letters with photographs between the people posting their desire to be a surrogate grandparent and those looking for them.
One website in particular, SurrogateGrandparenting.com caters to this special group of people, as does Gransnet.com (in England), Grandparents.com offers inspirational stories about surrogating and even Facebook has a specific site devoted to surrogate grandparents. Many church bulletins and grandparent oriented information sites also may contain ads looking for surrogate grandparents.
And you don’t have to be married to be a grandparent. You can be a divorced, widowed or never married, grandma or grandpa. You can also be married and surrogate without your spouse involved if they may not want to, or may not be up to it. But grandma/grandpa couple surrogates are also asked for, as some parents prefer their kids to have a “traditional” grandparenting experience.
How Can You Become a Surrogate Grandparent?
The best way to become a surrogate grandparent may be to place an advertisement for yourself, or you and your spouse if you both want to participate. Describe yourselves accurately by including your ages, former/current occupations, your personality, skill assets, education level, hobbies, and recreational pastimes. Be sure to include what it is exactly that you’re looking for as a surrogate grandparent; how much time you have, a specific ethnicity, boy, girl, etc. Place the ad in several reputable venues, like:
1. Your local church/synagogue community news bulletins that contain advertisements.
2. Online websites that focus on surrogate grandparenting. SurrogateGrandparenting.com offers a membership which prospective surrogates and parents register for. Many surrogates connect with each other in this fashion.
Next, on establishing contact with prospective surrogates:
1. Take it slow and interview them extensively, as they likely will want to do with you. You want to be sure, secure, and confident in whom they are.
2. If all are in agreement on what you hear in the first emails and phone calls, set up a public meeting place for your safety. You may want to collect information to do a background check on your prospective surrogates as it is likely they will want to do the same with you.
3. You may want to contact a lawyer and ask if there are any special laws that you need to be aware of to protect yourself from liabilities in becoming a surrogate grandparent.
You can bring a lot of happiness to a child, and their parents, by providing your older, wiser perspective on life, and just being a kind friend. At the same time you can fulfill your once-thought lost dream of becoming a grandparent and having a loving relationship with a “grandchild”. Grandkids don’t have to be of your blood to give and receive a lot of love.
Dale Brown, B.S., M.A., C.E.C.
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