For some service members, adding a new member to the family is something that is desirable. In some cases, that is done through adoption. Our readers in Colorado might find it interesting to know that the military offers specific benefits and allowances for service members who adopt a child.
What is the Adoption Reimbursement Program?
The Adoption Reimbursement Program is one that allows a service member to get help paying for some of the expenses associated with adopting a child. Those expenses must be classified as reasonable and necessary. This doesn’t include travel expenses, but can include agency fees, legal fees, placement fees, foster care charges and medical expenses. There is a limit to how much a person can get each year for adoption reimbursements.
What are the qualifications for ARP?
The child must be under 18 years old. The service member must have at least 180 days of active duty. The claim must be made within a year of the finalization date of the adoption, but the service member must still be in the military when the form is filed. The adoption must be done through a qualified agency.
Will the child get TRICARE?
Adopted children are eligible for TRICARE based on the family’s enrollment. The child would be covered under Prime for 60 days if a family member is covered under Prime. The child can be covered under Standard and Extra for 365 days after the adoption before having to be enrolled in DEERS.
Can I take leave to adopt a child?
Some service members can take a leave to adopt a child. The leave is subject to approval by the military member’s supervisor. It can last up to 21 days and is non-chargeable.
Adopting a child is a big step for any family. Learning how adopting a child while you are in the military might affect you and the child is vital as you embark upon this life journey.
Source: Military OneSource, “Adoption Benefits and Allowances for Service Members” Jan. 07, 2015