Adoption Assistance

Regular Army: Active Duty

Benefit Fact Sheet

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Summary:

Eligible Soldiers serving on active duty may be reimbursed a maximum of $2,000 per Child for qualifying expenses related to the adoption of Children under age 18, up to a maximum of $5,000 per calendar year for multiple adoptions.

Eligibility:

Soldiers serving on continuous active duty for at least 180 days are eligible for reimbursement of qualifying adoption expenses.

Benefit Highlights:

Additional eligibility requirements:

  • Soldiers are not entitled to reimbursement if they leave active duty before the adoption is final; however, they remain eligible if the claim for reimbursement has been properly submitted to the Defense Finance and Accounting Center (DFAS)-Cleveland Center prior to discharge from active duty. Members may request a voluntary extension of assignment beyond their normal expiration of term of service to complete the adoption process. Adoption expenses may be paid to married or single Soldiers.
  • If both adoptive parents are Soldiers, only one parent may be reimbursed for expenses related to the adoption of the same Child.
  • Soldiers must submit a reimbursement request to the DFAS-Cleveland Center not later than one year after completion of an adoption.

Qualifying adoptions:

  • Children under the age of 18 and
  • The adoption must be arranged by a qualified adoption agency:
    • A state or local agency that has responsibility under state or local law for Child placement though adoption, or
    • A nonprofit, voluntary adoption agency that is authorized by state or local law to place Children for adoption, or
    • Any other source authorized by a state to provide adoption placement, if the adoption is supervised by a court under state or local law.

Notes:

    • This program may cover inter-country adoptions. Adoptions arranged by a foreign adoption agency will not qualify for reimbursement unless a qualified (United States) state or Federal agency is the prime agency and the foreign agency works under the control of the US agency.
    • This program covers adoptions of Children with special needs.

Qualifying Expenses: Reasonable and necessary expenses for the legal adoption of a Child less than 18 years of age, including:

  • Public and private agency fees including fees charged by an agency in a foreign country.
  • Placement fees, including fees charged adoptive parents for counseling.
  • Legal fees, including court costs, for services that not available from military legal assistance offices.
  • Medical expenses, including:
    • Hospital expenses of the biological mother of the Child to be adopted.
    • Hospital expenses of a newborn infant to be adopted.
    • Medical care given to the adopted Child before the adoption.
    • Physical examinations of the biological mother of the Child to be adopted
    • Temporary foster care charges when payment of such charges is required to be made before the adoptive Child's placement.

Non-qualifying Expenses:

  • Travel expenses incurred by an adopting parent.
  • Expenses incurred for an adoption arranged in violation of Federal, state, or local law.

Reimbursement Claim Procedures:

Soldiers must submit requests for reimbursement for qualifying adoption expenses using DD Form 2675 "Reimbursement Request for Adoption Expenses." The form can be obtained from the Soldier's servicing personnel activity or via the following Internet link: http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/infomgt/forms/eforms/dd2675.pdf

  • The completed reimbursement request and substantiating documentation must be submitted, not later than 1 year after the finalization of the adoption and prior to separation from active duty, to the Soldier's servicing personnel activity which will review the request package for completeness and then forward it to the Soldier's commanding officer to certify the Soldier's eligibility.
  • The personnel activity will submit the certified, completed request for reimbursement via certified mail, to the DFAS-Cleveland Center for review, certification, and payment of the adoption expense reimbursement.
  • The DFAS-CL site will pay documented, reasonable, and necessary adoption expenses, up to $2,000 per adoptive Child. Not more than $5,000 shall be paid per calendar year to any Service member.
  • Note: DFAS will withhold taxes on the reimbursement and inform the Soldier that such benefit is taxable and will issue a separate Form W-2, "Statement of Wages and Income," issued for the amount of the adoption reimbursement paid.

Additional Adoption Assistance Benefits:

Adoption-related Leave:

DoD Instruction 1327.6 allows a Soldier up to 21 days of non-chargeable leave in conjunction with a qualifying adoption.

Medical Coverage of Adopted Children

An adopted Child, including a Child placed in the home of a Service Member by a placement agency, is eligible for benefits after the Child is enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). The patient affairs personnel at a specific medical treatment facility may have information. Specific information on access and eligibility is available on the TRICARE website: http://www.tricare.mil/ or by calling TRICARE Online at (888) 538-9552.

Legal Assistance: While Legal Assistance offices cannot provide legal representation for the adoption process, they may be able to advise on local adoption law or refer Soldiers to local adoption agencies.

Additional Information:

For more information, please visit the Adoption Assistance web pages maintained by the Department of Defense:

DoD Adoption Reimbursement Policy:
http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/134109p.pdf

Reimbursement of Adoption Expenses:
http://comptroller.defense.gov/Portals/45/documents/fmr/Volume_07a.pdf

Defense Finance and Account Service: 
http://www.dfas.mil/dfas/militarymembers/payentitlements/adoptionreimbursement.html

Document Review Date: 8 September 2014