Daniel PollackDaniel Pollack, professor at Wurzweiler School of Social Work, has authored two articles for Policy & Practice, the flagship publication of the American Public Human Services Association.

Grandparents Adopting Grandchildren: The Darlings Are in the Details” explores the processes and pitfalls that occur when grandparents seek to adopt their grandchildren. “At an increased pace, grandparents are petitioning courts to adopt their own grandchildren,” Pollack noted. “This is occurring as result of the incarceration of one or both parents, substance abuse issues the parent(s) are dealing with, or as a consequence of domestic violence. In fact, more than 2.6 million children are living with grandparents, relatives, or close family friends without either of their parents in the home. Approximately 7.6 million children live in households headed by a grandparent or other relative.”

As long as they are not explicitly ruled out as being unsuitable as adoptive parents, Pollack explained, many states give priority rights to relatives, including grandparents, to adopt their own relatives. “While adoption laws vary from state to state, the process is always a lengthy one, with the applicant needing to meet many detailed requirements before being qualified to adopt.”

In “Teenage Mothers and Their Children: What Is the Return Policy of Child Protective Services?,” Pollack reviewed how frequently a single teenage mother get reunified with her child once Child Protective Services has removed them and, if the child is returned, how long that usually takes.

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