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Family law: More grandparents are raising their grandchildren

There are times when grandparents have to step in to raise their grandchildren. Family law rules in Alberta can make this a possibility and an Edmonton step-grandfather knows this first hand since he is doing just that even though he's in his 60s. The man is raising two toddlers, and he is not in a class by himself since there are some grandparents today doing exactly the same thing.

Statistics from 2011 showed that 72,000 Canadian grandparents were raising their grandchildren. Despite stepping up to the plate when their own children couldn't, there is still a stigma attached to it, according to the step-grandfather who says people ask him why he thinks he could do a better job the second time around. But he also says governments would rather have children raised by relatives who care about them rather than putting them into foster care, and apparently, grandparents agree.

The Edmonton residents wishes more grandfathers would take a primary caregiving role with their grandkids since when parents can't raise their own children, it's usually grandmothers who take on the primary responsibility. But he says he shows his grandchildren that men can take on roles like doing the dishes, cleaning, changing diapers and playing with them just like grandma can. Most grandfathers, he says, who are helping to raise their grandchildren, give them pure love and support. 

A lawyer who is experienced in Alberta family law understands that it is the most important thing to put the best interests of children at the forefront. Sometimes that means living with their grandparents. A lawyer is in the position to help a client in such an instance to navigate the child custody process and by answering any questions the client may have about the process.

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