Adopting a child while serving in the military can be a slightly different experience for adoptive families. Still, adoption is a viable option for military families stationed in the US and even overseas. Military adoption grants also ease the financial burden of the process.
In this article, we’ll discuss what to expect with the military adoption process. We’ll also explore the qualifications you need to apply for military adoption assistance options. Let’s jump right in!
The Military Adoption Process
While military families typically go through the same adoption processes as civilian families, deployment and overseas situations can complicate an adoption. Since the adoption process varies, military families also have several resources to support the adoption process. Programs like Military OneSource provide information and support to help adoptive parents navigate procedures unique to military families. They will also connect you with an adoption agency that works with military families.
Local adoption agencies like Texas Adoption Center have the skills and knowledge to help military families with the entire adoption process. You will be paired with an adoption consultant who can help you understand the adoption process specific to your family. Not only will they help you navigate the military adoption process, but they will also provide you with valuable financial resources. Depending on your financial situation, several military adoption reimbursements and grant resources help defray costs.
Let’s take a look at some of the military adoption grants, benefits, and support services available before and after your adoption is finalized.
Military Adoption Grants and Benefits
As an active or veteran service member, you qualify for several family benefits to help pay for children’s expenses. This includes adoption allowances, medical benefits, child-cost assistance, among others. There are also several adoption grants for veterans available.
The cost of adoption is often one of the biggest challenges prospective adoptive families face. Unlike loans, military adoption grants have no interest and don’t need to be paid back. They provide military families the financial support they need to embrace the adoption process without reservation. While adoption grants don’t present any financial risk, there are specific qualifications you need to meet to apply. Let’s look at some military grants and benefits that help make adoption affordable.
Military Adoption Reimbursement
The US Department of Defence offers an adoption reimbursement program for qualified military families. Military adoption reimbursements can cover medical expenses and other fees related to adopting a child under 18 years of age. However, they do not cover travel costs.
Military service members who adopt a child, including step-children, can be reimbursed for adoption expenses up to $2,000 per adoptive child per calendar year. To qualify for adoption reimbursement, you need to meet the following requirements:
- Be on continuous active duty or full-time National Guard duty for at least 180 days when filing for the reimbursement.
- Submit a separate form for each adopted child
- Child/children must be under 18 years of age or physically or mentally incapable of caring for themselves.
- Child/children cannot be the biological offspring of the service member
- Service members cannot get paid twice for the same expense by different programs
- Adoption must be arranged by a qualified adoption agency, a nonprofit voluntary adoption agency, or any other source authorized by a State to provide adoption placement
To claim these reimbursements, you need to submit a DD FORM 2675 no later than one year after the final adoption.
Another military adoption grant comes in the form of 21-day nonchargeable adoption leave. This allows military families to adjust to life with a new child. There are three categories of parental leave for service members:
- Convalescent maternity leave
- Primary caregiver leave
- Secondary caregiver leave
When adopting a child, military families can designate one parent as the primary caregiver. This provides that individual with up to six weeks of non-chargeable leave. The Air Force and Army adoption programs also authorize 21 days of non-chargeable leave for secondary caregivers. The Navy and Marine Corps allow 14 days. It is also essential to know that primary and secondary caregiver leave can be taken at any time within one year of the child’s adoption.
To qualify for adoption leave, service members must also be eligible for adoption expenses reimbursement.
Another excellent military benefit is the tax credit. As with all taxpayers, military families can claim a tax credit of up to $13,460 per child for qualified adoption expenses. To offset the cost of adoption, military families are also eligible for a tax credit.
A Child Waits Foundation
In addition to military benefits, A Child Waits Foundation is an excellent military adoption grant for both domestic and international adoptions. Eligibility criteria require applicants to be U.S. or Canadian citizens who meet specific income criteria. Grant funds are intended for final adoption costs and include:
- Attorney fees
- Agency fees
- Travel expenses
- Other adoption-related expenses
If approved, grant funds depend on your specific financial circumstances. However, they typically do not exceed $7,000.
Help Us Adopt
Help Us Adopt is another option that is available for military families. This grant is typically higher than many other grants, offering up to $15,000 to applicants. Eligibility requirements include:
- At least one applicant must be a US citizen
- Must be using an established adoption agency based in the US
- Must have a completed, approved, and current home study
- Must not be pregnant, trying to conceive, or pursuing infertility treatments at the same time of your adoption
- Must demonstrate significant financial obstacles
- Must demonstrate a willingness to proceed with your adoption plans with or without assistance
Military families looking to apply to Help Us Adopt should talk to their local adoption agency to discuss eligibility.
Contact Texas Adoption Center Today for Help with Military Adoption Grants and Benefits
While adopting a child can come with significant financial challenges, several military adoption grants and benefits help adoptive parents. Texas Adoption Center provides birth parents and adoptive parents with the support and resources they need for a stress-free adoption journey.
For more information on adoption, contact us online or by phone at (512) 893-7943.