In the past two weeks I’ve received two requests from young mothers looking for surrogate grandparents to “adopt” their family. I called one of them to find out more. Kim has a brand new baby boy and 18-month old girl. Both her parents and her husband’s parents have passed away. In her email she mentioned doing activities like going to the park and museums with “grandparents,” but in our phone call she said she really wished she had someone with “grandmotherly wisdom.”
Kim also told me about a national organization she recently discovered called Parentless Parents that developed as an offshoot of Allison Gilbert’s book, Always Too Soon: Voices of Support for Those Who Have Lost Both Parents. The organization is a growing community of parents who have experienced the loss of their own mothers and fathers. Informal support groups are forming around the country to discuss the challenges of raising children without the benefit and support of their own parents.
Since I’ve personally never faced this issue, I haven’t given much thought to how painful it must be for young parents. My heart went out to Kim and her family, but I wasn’t sure what support I could offer. All the grandmas in the GaGa Sisterhood community are already so busy I wondered whether they’d have time to take on such a commitment.
After some cursory research on the internet, I wasn’t able to find an organization that matches families with surrogate grandparents. The few that I explored only matched at-risk children or those with disabilities. But I did come across the following ad by Cricket Kadoch, a young mom in Bend, OR.
Wanted: Thoughtful, caring surrogate grandparents for our two energetic, inquisitive young sons. Zest for life, openness, and willingness to share your wisdom, love, and time preferred. No previous grandparent experience necessary. Reading together, park dates, and popsicle sharing a must. Laughing, adoration and youthful joy offered in return.
In my phone call with Kim, she said she had also considered a personal ad but had some concerns about privacy issues, as well as the time necessary to screen potential applicants. So I’m putting out a request to readers of this blog:
- Do you know of an organization that matches families with surrogate grandparents?
- Would you be interested in being a surrogate grandparent?
- Are you a parent looking for a surrogate grandparent?
If you have any ideas or resources on this subject, please leave a comment.