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Grandparents are the parents of a person's own parent, whether that be a father or a mother. Every sexually-reproducing creature who is not a genetic chimera has a maximum of four genetic grandparents, eight genetic great-grandparents, sixteen genetic great-great-grandparents, etc.
In cases where parents are unwilling or unable to provide adequate care for their children (e.g., death of the parents), grandparents often take on the role of primary caregivers. Even when this is not the case, and particularly in traditional cultures, grandparents often have a direct and clear role in relation to the raising, care and nurture of children.