For families with one or both partners enlisted in the military, expanding your family will certainly involve some special concerns. Depending on factors such as your status, position and branch, you may have to face the potential of unstable residence or deployment. These challenges, however, should not be seen as obstacles to parenthood. Members of the armed service who are thinking about adoption should take the following four factors into consideration.
You may be eligible for reimbursement
According to the National Military Family Association, active duty military families may be eligible for reimbursement toward the costs associated with the adoption. Qualified applicants can receive up to $2,000 for each child adopted, and if you have adopted multiple children, you may receive up to $5,000. In order to claim the funds, you must document the expenses of the adoption and file a DD Form 2675 within a year of finalization.
You can choose a domestic or international adoption
Some families wonder whether they are eligible to adopt children from overseas. There is currently no law stating that this is prohibited, so military families may choose to either adopt domestically or internationally. In both circumstances, you may elect to go through an agency or foster system. There are no regulations indicating who military families can adopt, where they must adopt from or any other details of the adoption process.
Children are eligible for health care benefits
As soon as a child under 18 is placed in the home of a service member for the purposes of adoption, he or she is legally considered a dependent and is therefore eligible for health care benefits. There are certain regulations, however, that dictate the specifics of eligibility. To claim benefits, families should be ready to furnish the child’s birth certificate, any other identification and the court order for placement.
Adoption leave is available
Families who have recently adopted a child can take advantage of leave of duty that is specifically made available to allow time for bonding. Adoption leave may be approved by the service member’s commander, and you are not eligible if your fees were not eligible for reimbursement. If both partners are enlisted, only one will be able to take leave, and the period may last up to 21 days.
Military families can be great candidates for adoption, and there are benefits to consider, too. If you or your partner is enlisted and pursuing adoption, contacting a lawyer may help you understand the process better.