Your Lifetime Guide to Adopting as a Member of the Military

by | Feb 6, 2019 | Adoptive Families Blog

military-familyLifetime Adoption has helped hundreds of military couples realize their dreams of parenthood. As you serve our nation, it is our honor to serve you as you begin your adoption journey. No matter where you’re stationed around the world, Lifetime will help you fulfill your dreams of parenthood. It is possible to adopt, even if your husband or wife is serving overseas.

We’d like to thank you for your sacrifice and courage! To show our gratitude for your service to our country, Lifetime offers military adoptive couples a reduction in fees.

Today, we’re providing you with helpful resources on adopting as a member of the military. You’ll also get answers to the questions we’re asked the most by hopeful military adoptive couples!

Questions About Military Adoptions

If my spouse is deployed during our adoption journey, can we still adopt?

Your adoption process won’t be halted by the deployment of a spouse. The spouse who is being deployed will need to grant power of attorney to their spouse. This gives him or her permission to sign the legal papers correlated with the adoption as it unfolds.

What happens if we get transferred to another state?

It’s actually common for military (and civilian) families to move during their adoption journey. If you get transferred, you’ll need to update your home study or apply for a new home study. To be able to adopt, a fully updated home study is required. Be sure to keep in mind that states have different adoption laws. So, keep your Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime involved. She’d be happy to help you! Once your home study is done, your adoption process can resume as usual.

military-couple2-1Do birth mothers choose military couples often?

Yes; many military adoptive couples have been successful with Lifetime Adoption! Military families possess many of the qualities that birth mothers look for in adoptive parents, such as a stable income, access to excellent healthcare, patriotic values, and a diverse community.

Military couples tend to have a high level of adoption readiness, possess excellent communication skills, and are willing to follow our program’s recommended steps. The call that a birth mother is interested could come at any time. Military families are accustomed to living life “at the ready,” and this adds to the success of Lifetime’s military families.

Resources and Benefits for Military Adoptive Couples

Deployment Deferments or Extension of Assignments
Once you travel to meet your newly-born son or daughter, you will need to remain in the birth mother’s state as you wait for ICPC to clear. “ICPC” stands for the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, and it ensures the safety of placements of children across state lines.

Consider requesting a deployment deferment or an extension of assignment if you must remain in the birth mother’s state. According to DoD Instruction 1341.9, commanders are urged to approve requests for ordinary leave once you bring your baby home. According to the instruction, single parents (or one spouse) should receive a four-month assignment and deployment deferment right after your child is placed into your home.

army-dadFamily Service Centers
Located on every major military installation, your Family Service Center can give you information and services regarding the various military adoption benefits available.

Medical Care for Military Adoptive Families
Medical care is available to all military families at military treatment facilities. If you cannot get access to care at a military installation, health care benefits will be provided under TRICARE in civilian medical facilities.

Your adopted child will be eligible for benefits after he or she is enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). To get more information, call DEERS at 1-800-538-9552.

In addition, the patient affairs staff at your medical treatment facility may have information. Visit the TRICARE website or call the DoD Worldwide TRICARE Information Center at 1-888-363-2273 for specific details on eligibility and access.

Adoption Tax Benefit 
Military families should also consider the Federal Adoption Tax credit as they plan financially for adoption. With the tax credit, the cost of adoption can become very affordable.  Learn more at the Internal Revenue Service’s website

Adoption Reimbursement Program
For qualified military families, the US Department of Defense has created an adoption reimbursement program. Medical expenses and other fees associated with adopting a child are covered under the Adoption Reimbursement Program. Contact your personnel support unit or visit the National Military Family Association’s website to find out more about this program.

Military families may qualify for an adoption reimbursement benefit, up to $2,000 per adopted child, once the adoption is finalized. Check with your administrative department for more details about this employer benefit.

If God has put adoption on your heart, Lifetime is here to help you through the process step-by-step. There’s no need to put off your dreams of having a family. Military men and women make exceptional parents, and we want to see your dreams come true!


Learn more about adopting as a military couple through
Lifetime Adoption by calling us at 1-800-923-6784.

We would love to learn about your adoption needs and military circumstances, and help tailor an adoption plan to meet your needs.

Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P.

Written by Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P.

Founder of Lifetime Adoption, adoptive mom, adoption expert, and Certified Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P).

Since 1986, adoption expert Mardie Caldwell has been dedicated to bringing couples and birth parents together in order to fulfill their dreams.

“Many years ago, I was also searching for a child to adopt. We didn’t know where or how to get started. Through research, determination, and a prayer, our dream of a family became reality. I started with a plan, a notebook, assistance from a caring adoption consultant and a lot of hard work; this was my family I was building. We had a few heartaches along the way, but the pain of not having children was worse!

Within weeks we had three different birth mothers choose us. We were overwhelmed and delighted. Many unsettling events would take place before our adoption would be finalized, many months later. Little did I know that God was training and aligning me for the adoption work I now do today. It is my goal to share with our families the methods and plans which succeed and do not succeed. I believe adoption should be affordable and can be a wonderful “pregnancy” for the adoptive couple.

I have also been on both sides of infertility with the loss of seven pregnancies and then conceiving by new technology, giving birth to a healthy daughter. I have experienced first-hand the emotional pain of infertility and believe my experience allows me to serve your needs better.

It is my hope that for you, the prospective parents, your desire for a child will be fulfilled soon.”

Read More About Mardie Caldwell

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