When Christene became a mom two years ago, she realized something was missing: grandparents for her daughter. Christene lost her father when she was 9, and her mother when she was 22. Besides wanting grandparents, she also longed for the mothering she didn’t have.
She searched online for an organization to help her find surrogate grandparents but couldn’t find one. So she decided to create one herself. Now Christene is finding a way to create the extended family she wants through an online community: SurrogateGrandparenting.com
I met Christene last winter after writing a blog post titled Parentless Parents Need Surrogate Grandparents. I was inspired by two emails from young moms who were looking for surrogate grandparents to “adopt” their family.
Surrogategrandparenting.com is a free service that matches “families with children of all ages whose grandparents are deceased, distant or otherwise unavailable due to incarceration, drug abuse, estrangement, etc. with responsible, healthy, independent, caring, older adults who would love to be a surrogate grandparent.”
On the website families can post their preference for the family they’re searching for in a members-only forum. There are five steps to joining the forum. The first is to register and become a member. All communication between member families on SurrogateGrandparenting.com happens through an “anonymous” email network. The names and contact information of all member families are kept confidential until the family decides to share the information.
Once you’ve registered, you can complete your profile and then post an announcement for the family you’re looking for—either surrogate grandparents or surrogate grandchildren. The site provides lots of helpful information for navigating the process of finding a surrogate family such as details on what to announce and what not to announce. There are also tips on how to contact a family once you see an announcement you like and even tips for meeting them. Christene emphasizes that all member families are strongly encouraged to trust their instinct as to who is right for their family. She also suggests you try a three-month “trial courtship” to see whether the match feels right for everyone.
I’m so excited to see the launch of this much-needed service and to watch it grow. I wish Christene the best of luck and look forward to reading about some of her successful matches.