We recently heard about two UK grandparents who claimed social services wouldn't allow them to adopt their granddaughter because of their age. Echo News reported that the couple had been looking after their 3-year-old granddaughter after her mother was hospitalized for depression.
"She knows us well and has spent a lot of time with us," the grandfather told Echo News. “A week later a social worker came round saying she’d come to pick up her clothes because they were taking her into foster care."
The grandparents, aged 58 and 70, say after they were told the girl would be taken into foster care, a court order was issued for the girl to be put up for adoption. They claim they were told it's because they are too old to look after her.
“I don’t feel old at all. I work two days a week. It’s just awful they could take her away from us," the grandmother said. Echo News withheld some information due to ongoing legal issues.
The granddaughter is currently with a foster family while the grandparents fight to get the adoption decision reversed. A representative for the local council said the decisions are made to ensure the wellbeing of the children involved. "While we cannot comment upon individual cases, we should highlight that age is not the deciding factor in our assessments of prospective carers," Anne Jones, the local councillor said.
With around 2.7 million grandparents being primary caregivers for their grandchildren in the U.S., any age bias that may exist is a serious issue.
So does age matter when you're looking after your grandkids? And are you ever too old? We asked our Facebook fans to get the conversation started. There were viewpoints on both ends of the debate.
Some said age doesn't matter as long as you can meet the job requirements.
"It has more to do with "abled" than age. My father-in-law at 83 is far more able to care for an active toddler/preschooler than my poor mother was at 65," reader Karina Hilton said.
Others said safety should always come first.
"The parents of the kids should determine whether they're comfortable with the grandparents' ability to keep their kids safe. Grandparents, even if it hurts their feelings, should respect this," reader Jamie Greco said.
And some felt grandparents shouldn't be bothered with babysitting at all in their golden years.
"Grandparents should not be burdened with babysitting, they deserve a break," said reader Annie Mus.
What's your take? Let us know in comments below.
Also on The Huffington Post