The Military and Adoption Expense Reimbursement

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Military Adoption Expense Reimbursement
Growing your family through adoption can be expensive, but the Military Adoption Reimbursement program can help offset some of that expense. Read on to learn more about the program and additional benefits available through the military.
Table of Contents
  1. Does The Military Reimburse for Adoption?
  2. What Adoption Expenses Are Eligible for Reimbursement?
    1. Unqualified Expenses
  3. Applying For Reimbursement
  4. Does the Military Offer Any Additional Benefits when Adopting?
  5. I’ve Started The Adoption Process, Now What?

Are you considering adopting a child? Maybe you’ve started the process and are curious if the military will help cover any of your adoption expenses?

You’ve come to the right place. 

Under the Military Adoption Reimbursement program, you may be eligible for financial assistance for your adoption. Keep reading to learn more about the program and what other benefits you may qualify for.

Does The Military Reimburse for Adoption?

Yes, the military does reimburse for adoption. 

Military members who adopt a child under the age of 18 can claim up to $2,000 per adopted child (up to $5,000) per year for qualifying adoption expenses.

If you are a dual military family, only one family member can be reimbursed for the adoption expenses. Under the military adoption reimbursement program, a dual military family cannot receive reimbursement of more than $5,000 in a calendar year. 

What Adoption Expenses Are Eligible for Reimbursement?

If you’re planning on adopting, or have already started the process, you’re likely curious, “What is covered under the military adoption reimbursement program?” 

Typically, the following expenses are covered:

  • Agency fees — both nationally and internationally 
  • Placement fees 
  • Court costs and other legal fees
  • Temporary foster care charges
  • Medical expenses for the biological mother and newborn baby may also be covered

Unqualified Expenses

Unfortunately, not everything you’re paying for will be covered under the military adoption reimbursement program — and adding a member to your family via adoption is likely costing you a pretty penny.

Travel Expenses

If you’re traveling to finalize your adoption, especially internationally, the costs can add up quickly. Although they are not covered under the military’s adoption program, you may be able to fundraise to help cover some of those costs. 

If a service member is adopting a spouse’s child, those costs will not be covered by the program. This is simply because the child is already a member of your home. Adoption is a legal formality necessary to create the parental relationship between the child and the family member.

Adoptions must be done legally in order to be covered by the military adoption program.

Aside from those expenses, basic needs, like clothing, toys, etc., are not covered under the adoption reimbursement program.

Applying For Reimbursement

In order to receive reimbursement, the service member must be on continuous active duty for a period of at least one hundred and eighty days. Your adoption reimbursement request must be submitted within one year (365 days) of the final adoption decree. 

To apply for reimbursement, the service member needs to fill out DD Form 2675, “Reimbursement Requests for Adoption Expenses.” 

When you submit the form, you will also be required to submit the following: 

  • Court documents proving the adoption
  • Copies of any receipts that you are seeking reimbursement for, and
  • If the child is born in a foreign country, proof of his or her U.S. Citizenship

Does the Military Offer Any Additional Benefits when Adopting?

When adopting a child, military members may not realize they are entitled to a few other benefits, as well. These include:

Deployment Deferment

  • Single members, or one member of a dual military couple, is eligible for a four-month assignment and deployment deferment. This means that the military member can stay in their home station during the period immediately following the date that the child is placed in the home. This deferment is optional and can be waived if the military member chooses.

Extra Leave

  • If the service member is eligible for the Military Adoption Program, he or she may also be eligible for up to 21 days of additional leave (this doesn’t count as regular leave) under Public Law 109-163. If the family is dual military, only one member of the household is eligible for this special leave. 

Mutual Assistance Loans

  • In some cases, military members may apply for a mutual assistance loan from the military relief organizations at their home installation. Be sure to talk with your assistance office about these loans, as there are stipulations regarding what will be reimbursed and what is considered a tax credit.

I’ve Started The Adoption Process, Now What?

Once the adoption has been finalized, military members should go about enrolling their new child as a dependent in DEERS

Children under the age of 18 who are placed in the home of a military service member by an adoption agency are considered dependents. They will be considered when travel and transportation allowances are being determined and become eligible for military health benefits under Tricare. 
Adoption is a beautiful process, but it can certainly come with its own hurdles; because of this, there are many resources available to help military members feel confident throughout the process.

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About Jessica Gettle

Jessica Gettle is a freelance writer, content creator, editor, and part-time aspiring baker. Jessica holds a degree in communications. As a former military brat and current military spouse, she has a passion for helping military members, learn about the resources available to them. As a military spouse and mother, Jessica travels all over the country enjoying the adventures the military life throws at them. When Jessica isn't working or chasing around her son, she's experimenting with new recipes for baked goods or curled up with a book.

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