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Where can my little one find a 'surrogate' grandparent?

(94 Posts)
inhouse36 Fri 06-Apr-12 05:18:08


My son is almost fours years old and is a wonderful (as I am always told)treasure to be very proud of. However, both his grandparents, on both mine and my partner's side have now passed away and he has never known grandparents.

We live a long way from family and friends and I desperately want him to have someone older in his life who will spoil him with lots of hugs and affection that grandparents are so wonderful at giving.

He gets very little in the way of presents so I over compensate at Xmas and birthdays and feel desperately sad when his friends get lots of impromtu presents and more importantly intimate affection that can only be found in that special relationship that a child has with his grandparents.

I contacted my local age concern because I know there are a lot of lonely older people out their who would love to have an 'adopted' family in order not to be so alone, but they said it was an unusual request and they could not help.

Surely I cannot be alone in this day and age of nuclear families, where children are without grandparents and older people are desperate for the company of a family once again?

I completley understand that you have to be very very careful ad there are a lot of very bad people out there and that is why I have not pursued it until now - how on earth to you start such a trusting relationship with a complete stranger?

I wondered if there is someone who could help me find 'grandparents' for my little one and thought the maybe someone on granset may know of friends who are in my area, who would like to become part of our family.

granbunny Fri 06-Apr-12 07:46:30

its not so unusual. i've heard in the past of families being linked with older people who live alone, just as you suggest. perhaps it faded away when CAB checking came in. you might want to avoid allowing a stranger unsupervised access to your son.

do you have even a tenuous religious belief? going to church might be a good way of meeting older people. but of course, even in church, you have to be careful that people are as nice as they seem.

alternatively, keep your eyes and ears open in your locality - older people are often pleased to have a smile and 'good morning' from a mum and child, and over time you could build on that. but of course, older people can be wary of strangers, too!

Maniac Fri 06-Apr-12 08:09:37

I am surrogate grandma to two Anglo/Japanese children who live near to me.I first met the parents in our local Sustainability/Transition gp. The girl was 2 in Dec last and the boy is 8 mths.I have known the children from birth and babysit regularly.They are a joy and the mother values my friendship as she is so far away from her own mother.
You might consider contacting the local nursery or primary school.
Have you got a Grandparents support gp in your area of grandparents who like me are denied contact or a long way from their own grandchildren?
I will ask around.

shysal Fri 06-Apr-12 09:37:51

Which area do you live in inhouse36?

Annobel Fri 06-Apr-12 09:49:36

Gbun, I hope you mean CRB, rather than CAB!

granbunny Fri 06-Apr-12 16:32:39

i think i do, annobel! i knew there was something wrong with it when i wrote it. R indeed.

or, we could send all new teachers for citizens advice... grin

Danjo Sat 07-Apr-12 10:10:04

I'd love to be a surrogate grandparent. I live on the south coast and, because of my job, I am CRB checked.

Granb Sat 07-Apr-12 17:03:37

When my two DS's were small, we had a friend's mum come to the house to be there when they got home from school. We paid her a weekly sum and her only 'duty' was to stop the boys from killing each other! Boys absolutely loved her - she took them to the park, made cakes, went for walks, played games and even included any friends that they had home after school. My boys called her their rent-a-gran.

Her husband was retired and she had not worked at all since she was married at 18 - she thought it was marvellous having some money of her own.

I am talking of this going on more than 20 years ago and whilst I was happy that she was my friend's mum, people today may feel that they need some comfort with CRB checks etc. I know would not hesitate in doing the same thing again and my boys have nothing but good and fondest memories of her.

grannyandi Mon 09-Apr-12 13:39:49

Message deleted by Gransnet.

NewGranLin Mon 09-Apr-12 14:40:48

I used to volunteer for an organisation called HomeStart who help out families with young children who have problems of one sort or another(the family I visited had an autistic son). If there is a Home Start branch in your area, they may be able to put you in touch with a current or past volunteer who would like to be a surrogate Granny. ( You can find them via google|).

grannyandi Mon 09-Apr-12 16:52:56

i came across this post and I found what inhouse36 had to say really interesting.. my mum(who is now grandma to my 7-month old daughter) and i have just started a small business where we place 'Grannies' (skilled, experienced women over 50) in families as nannies, sitters, housekeepers, etc. 
i grew up in italy, where grandparents live close to their grandchildren and play a major role in their upbringing, and so i really felt the lack of this when my little one was born (my mother still lives in Italy). this inspired us to find 'surrogate' grannies for families who aren't lucky enough to have living, or available, grandparents. we believe that grannies have a wealth of life experience and skills that can be really beneficial for young children, much more so than being left with younger nannies.
 we will only operate in london though so not sure where you are based... 
i may as well say we are also looking for Grannies for our team so would love to hear from any Grannies looking for very flexible, temporary work!!

inhouse36 - i found your comments really touching because the role of grandparents is really so important, but i'm sure you will find someone excellent for your little one soon! good luck!!

inhouse36 Tue 10-Apr-12 09:28:42


I had no idea anyone had responded until today when I logged back onto Gransnet. We live in Herefordshire about 25 minutes from the town of Hereford, in a lovely village on the black and white trail.

inhouse36 Tue 10-Apr-12 09:39:07

I just want to say a big big thank you, to you all, for your wonderful and very very helpful comments, this has allowed me to realise that I am not alone in this situation and that it is perfectly normal for my little one to have his own special grandparents. My sister lives up North and has begged us to return there to be close to her, but we really do not want to go back up North despite the agony of having hardly any family contact, so all advice is welcome and a breath of fresh air as far as finding ganparents go.

Fantastic that grannyandi have started a business in this area as it is so so needed! London is a little too far though I have heard of distant 'granparents' who have lots of surrogate grandchildren that they write to and visit all over the UK, so anything is possible!

Humbertbear Tue 10-Apr-12 17:12:34

Do you have neighbours? My children had four grandparents but they adopted the lady next door as an extra without prompting.

cazzybell Thu 12-Jul-12 22:57:25

I've just spent ages looking for an adopt a grandparent charity or websit well anything really,,but no,,not a thing unless your in america or you want to spend a fortune on adopting a granny on the other side of the world which if i could afford to would.
My daughterhas not got any grand parents has never known one, no dad either just me 'mum' and our little dog.
I feel like I've taken some enrichment from her life (I know it's not my fault really but does't stop me feeling guilty).
My mum died before baby's birth.
My dad just moved house one day and neglected to tell me. I did go looking for and I tried but after a lot of searching,, I decided that it is his loss. He didn't want me then so why would he interested in us now now.
DOES ANYBODY KNOW WHERE I CAN GET A GRAND PARENT,,VERY MUCH NEEDED FOR MY 2YEAR OLD DAUGHTER,,SOMERSET.. now she is 3 and I am very sad i just want to give all I possibly can and I feel that you gain so much from grandparents she missing out it's just me her and the dog no family she deserves more and I'm not able to be a mum+dad+grandma+granddad.
please help someone even if it's just advise.

crimson Thu 12-Jul-12 23:15:20

You sound like a wonderful, caring mother and your little girl is very lucky. I wish I lived in Somerset.

mrsmopp Sat 13-Oct-12 23:46:12

If only some enterprising person could set up some way to introduce would-be grandparents to a young family! Of course the necessary checks would need to be done first. I'd love grandchildren and feel we have so much to offer but we know we will never have have any of our own, sadly.
I think there is a great need for this and both parties would benefit so much.

clevelys Wed 24-Oct-12 12:15:27


I have a similar problem - a desire for grandparents - or at least older people to have relationships with my children. Actually come to think of it, ANY familial-like people to have relations would be better than not.

Actually I live in Somerset - between Bath and Shepton Mallett. Sometimes I think there could be self-help versions ofthis stuff - all depends really I suppose on gtting the 'right' personality mix.

I am more or less the age of a youngish grandma - just started as a mum later in life

JessM Wed 24-Oct-12 12:45:30

I guess the place to start then clevelys is to try to make more friends.
I have a good relationship with my friend's 2. They have one set of grandparents, who never seem particularly interested and don't live near. I am about 15 yrs older than their mum (whose parents are both dead). I was there when her DS was born and have known both kids all their lives. I view them as "young friends" - bit like an older aunty. Sometimes we go out and do stuff. Or occasionally I step into the breach after school.

nannymagic Thu 29-Aug-13 11:30:30

I have searched many times in hope that I could find a site that would be able to let me communicate with a family that was missing the parent / grandparent closeness.

I am a parent myself. Though now this is to a grown up young man. Whom I love very very much.

I do however miss not having a daughter to spend time with, to share recipes and growing up experiences with and to chat on the phone. Grandchildren to entertain with my many years experience of being a childrens magician and watch their faces as they are amazed by the world around them, listen to their laughter and to watch them play. T enjoy picnics as a large family and Sunday dinner gatherings.

York is such a beautiful place to live and I would love to share this.

Is there any one out their that can help with my plight

Charleygirl Thu 29-Aug-13 13:14:15

I have no idea what the above means!

Charleygirl Thu 29-Aug-13 13:15:44

Please ignore my last posting as there was a weird Zombie thread to which I answered, hence nobody will understand what I have replied to!

Charleygirl Thu 29-Aug-13 13:18:44

I also have no grandchildren and I live in London if that is of any help to anybody? My closest family are in Eire so I never see them. My nephews and nieces by marriage live in Hastings so that is too far away now for me.

Lynnylou69 Sun 06-Apr-14 22:12:05

I am hoping to reopen this thread again, as I have been searching high & low for people/ places to contact as we are looking to "adopt a grandchild"

Our circumstances are myself & my husband have not been lucky in having children, as we are both infertile. I am 45 & my husband is 53.
When we were told we could not have children we threw ourselves into travelling & doing exactly what we wanted when we wanted.
It is now we are finding it really difficult as our siblings & friends are grandparents, & we seem to be missing out on a great relationship grandparents have with their grandchildren, & we both have so much time & love we could give to a child or children.

We live in Worcestershire, & ideally would like to make contact with a local family.

boheminan Sun 06-Apr-14 23:01:27

I was brave enough to venture into Mumsnet and open a thread saying I am a potential gran/nana wondering if there are potential grandchildren/'big' children out there that may be interested in 'adopt(ing)-a-gran'. The response I have had has been overwhelming and positive. There's so many young mum's out there who are desperately missing mums/grans in their lives and want to connect.