The most common way for families to find surrogate grandparents is through personal networking to identify relatives, friends of the family, neighbors, or other close acquaintances who wish to grandparent a child. Though there are many older people who would love to serve as a surrogate grandparent, currently there are very few organizations that match such individuals with families in need. The few organizations that do arrange such matches limit their services to children in foster care.
Many experts have commented on the important role grandparents serve in a child's development. Grandparents not only enrich the lives of their grandchildren, but provide much needed wisdom and encouragement to their adult children. Due to death, distance, estrangement, or other factors, some families do not have the benefit of a grandparent in their lives. Parents in this situation often worry for the well-being of their children and experience great distress.
Ironically, there are many older individuals who have a burning desire to grandparent a child, but are unable to connect with the families who desperately wish to fill the void left by the absence of involved grandparents. Some individuals have attempted to locate surrogate grandparent arrangements by placing ads online, however, privacy concerns and the difficulty in screening individuals makes this option impractical for most people.
Making personal connections is the best way to locate surrogate grandparents. The concept of surrogate grandparents is still a very new one and many willing individuals may not even be aware of the need for surrogate grandparents, or may be uncomfortable with broaching the topic with a prospective family. Talking openly about the desire for surrogate grandparents maximizes the chances of meeting individuals who wish to serve in that role.