Surrogacy is usually defined as having someone else's baby for them. So we often hear about surrogate mothers. But now there's a variation on the term: surrogate grandparents.
It seems that increasing numbers of Australian families are so fractured these days that senior strangers are being asked to fill these traditional family roles. Parents of kids missing the gentle presence of caring codgers advertise for them online so frequently that law firms are issuing warnings about the potential legal complications of the practice.
The whole thing is bizarre and depressing. It's spookily reminiscent of elements of the comedy movie Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star. In that flick, a former sprog celeb hires a real family to give him the experiences he missed as a child so he can land a part requiring the emotional maturity he never developed.
Surrogate grandparents -- another phenomenon to go into the "life imitating satire" file, I reckon.