Most people know a neighbor, friend, or family member who provides full-time care for a grandchild. In fact, grandparents raising grandchildren is a growing trend among families in the US. According to the AARP, nationwide nearly 5.8 million grandchildren live with their grandparents, and it is estimated that over 2.5 million grandparents are raising their grandchildren. Almost 1 million children live in a home where a grandparent and neither of the child’s parents are in the residence.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 99,783 grandparents in Illinois are householders who are responsible for the grandchildren that live with them. 7.8 percent of children in Illinois reside with their grandparents in situations where the grandparents are the householders. 109,939 children in Illinois reside in such households where the grandparents are responsible for the children. Of those, 35,583 Illinois children have no parents in the home at all.
In some circumstances, grandparents are obtaining custody or adopting their grandchildren. However, the more common scenario is that grandparents are being appointed as legal guardians over their minor grandchildren.