The laws of most states provide a pretty simple procedure for adoption, assuming the natural parent agrees. As part of that process, all interested parties – which frequently include grandparents – typically are given notice of the proceeding and are allowed an opportunity to volunteer information as to why it should not occur.

If the natural parent agrees, that pretty much wraps up the process unless the grandparents have a compelling reason why the adoption would be harmful to the child.

If the natural parent refuses to give consent, then a much more complex procedure can be used to terminate parental rights. In such a situation, there usually has to be a showing that the natural parent neglected or abandoned the child – perhaps by not visiting over a one or two year period.

Different states have different standards for what constitutes neglect or abandonment.

See also…

Adoption, guardianships, foster parenting