In the absence of a caring parent, children need legal guardians in order to get the services they need. Even when a relative is financially able to care for the child, without a legal relationship, it can be difficult to enroll the child in school or take them to the doctor. Therefore, the first action a lawyer takes is to legally stabilize the relationship between the caregiver and the child. For families struggling financially, adopting a new child can seem nearly impossible, but legal aid lawyers—who provide legal services to low-income people for free—can help waive some costs and get families resources that ease the burden. In addition to providing free legal assistance to help grandparents adopt their grandchildren, legal aid lawyers work to support families by ensuring that the caregivers are maximizing all of the resources available to the children in their care.
There are a variety of resources available to relative caregivers, depending on need.
Without a law professional, grandparents may not know that these resources exist to help them care for their grandchild. By connecting grandparents to vital services, legal aid lawyers help ease the transition for both the child and the grandparent, and help build a stable foundation for the future.
Today, relatives are caring for 30 percent of all children in the foster care system.
That’s according to a report by Generations United 1. These grandparents and other relative caregivers tremendously reduce the burden of cost on taxpayers. However, these grandparents and other relatives need support, and we can all help provide that support. Like the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child”, Atlanta Legal Aid can be that village. One way to provide support is to make a financial contribution to legal services organizations that help with this relative adoption work, otherwise known as Kinship Care. Atlanta Legal Aid is one of those organizations. Every year, we help over 300 families obtain guardianship of these children, and your donation helps us sustain this vital work. Make a donation today using the button below.