The Defense Department recognizes that every child deserves to grow up in a safe a nurturing environment. They know that adoption and foster care are wonderful ways for their members to grow their families. The military has a long history of supporting adoption including assistance with adoption costs, tax credits, and other benefits. The mobile military life should not be a barrier to adoption and foster care if that is your dream to expand your family.
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Considering Military Adoption and/or Foster Care? 8 Things Service Families Should Know
Military Adoption Requirements
Thorough Background Checks
Military family adoptions have more paperwork than civilian adoptions. Background-check clearances will be needed for all the states he/she has provided a service, as well as for other countries. Another one is the top security clearances related to military employment.
Homestudy for Military Families
A homestudy is a process that all families, including military families, go through before they adopt a child. A homestudy helps to ensure that the family is a good fit for the child and that the child will be safe and well-cared for in the home. It will also help ensure that the child will have the best possible opportunities and care while being in a military family setting.
Communication With the Adoption Agencies
Military families should be able to maintain a well-kept correspondence with the placing agency, whether it is foreign or domestic. It is important to match with an agency used to working with U.S. citizens living abroad.
Special Military Adoption Benefits and Other Military Adoption Assistance
The DoD has several resources available to help service members adopt children. For example, the DoD offers military families discounts on adoption services, and many military installations offer discount adoption rates. The DoD also has several programs and resources available to help families adopt children with special needs. If you are considering adoption, be sure to ask about these benefits and others that are specific to military adoption. Take a look at the DoD's Adoption Reimbursement policy.
It's easier to complete the process at one duty station. If you move during the process, some steps may need to be repeated. Getting deployed could put things on hold. Definitely understand the timeline and financial ramifications of deployment ahead of time. It's best to be prepared for all situations that might occur.
Can Single Parents in the Military Still Adopt?
Yes! A single parent in the military can still adopt. The military has a long history of supporting adoption by single parents and there are many resources available to help families through the process.
More Advice for Military Families Who Want to Adopt a Child
- •Stay on Top of Your Military Benefits
- If you are a military spouse or family member, you may be eligible for many military benefits. These benefits can include health care, education benefits, and financial help. It's important to stay on top of your military benefits so that you know what is available to you and your family.
- •Plan for the Adoption Process When you are thinking about adopting a child, it is important to plan. This will help you make sure that the adoption process goes as smoothly as possible. Think about your adoption options. There are a variety of adoption options available to military families. It is important to think about which option is best for you and your family.
- •Consider enlisting the help of a Military Adoption Professional.Enlisting the help of a military adoption professional can help make the adoption process smoother. A military adoption professional can help you understand the adoption process and can help you find the best military adoption agency for your family.
- •Complete the process at one duty stationMilitary families should try to complete the adoption process at one duty station. This will help keep the adoption process as smooth as possible. If you have to move during the adoption process, make sure that you plan for that.
- •Be ready to travelWhen you are thinking about adopting a child, it is important to be ready to travel. You may have to travel to meet the child or to complete the adoption process.
- •Children are automatically covered under TRICARE When you adopt a child, your child is automatically covered under TRICARE. This means that your child will have health care coverage while they are with you and while they are in the military adoption process.
- •You may qualify for a tax credit
- If you adopt a child, you may qualify for a tax credit. This can help you reduce your tax burden.
- •Don't give upThe adoption process can be difficult, but don't give up. The adoption process can be smooth if you are prepared for it and if you have the help of a military adoption professional.