Adoption is a great way to start ad grow a family. It can give military families a chance to be parents. However, before you can jump and call your preferred adoption agency, there are some things you need to now concerning the adoption process. The adoption process can take months and in some cases years and will cost a lot of money. There was a time when military life was a barrier to child adoption. Now, service members can adopt children.
If you don’t know where to start, this article is a great resource for you.
While it won’t answer all your questions, it will give you a head start on how the adoption process works.
1. The home study
It is standard procedure for an adoption home study to be done. This is where your life, finances and personal relationships are checked. The results are used by courts to determine if you are fit to raise a child in a stable environment.
If you are abroad and want to adopt, it is recommended that you follow the requirements set by your home country. You can ask for deployment deferent so you can finalize the adoption process.
2. Get legal assistance
If you are looking to adopt a child, you are better off getting legal representation. If the child is in another country, you will need to get a lawyer from that country who will inform you on the legal requirements. You will also need to get legal representation from your country so that they can liaise with the lawyer at the child’s country.
3. Be active while waiting for the placement
Depending on the adoption agency you use, you will get guidance and assistance on how you can be an active family. Active families’ profiles are shown to expectant mothers so they can see if you are a good fit for their child.
4. Complete the placement and finalize everything
You need to finalize all the processes and ensure you are ready for a placement. There are things that you might need to do at this stage depending on your situation:
- Make travel arrangements
If you are adopting a child from abroad, you are required to make travel arrangements for the child. You will need to apply for a passport for the child. If you live abroad, you are expected to return to your home country for the placement. You are also required to travel back home to finalize the adoption. Finalization usually takes place six months after the placement.
- Apply for citizenship for the child
If you live abroad, you are responsible for meeting all the passport, immigration, and citizenship requirements for the child you adopt. Depending on where the child is from, the process of getting a passport might be complicated and lengthy. Seeking legal representation comes in handy as they will handle all those issues and ensure you meet all the legal requirements. You can consult with your JAG office to get more information on the process of getting a passport for the child as well as any other travel concerns.
- Post-placement visits
You must complete all post-placement visits as provided by the law. You can do that through your post-visit provider. The purpose of the post-placement visits is to ensure that the child is in a stable environment.
If one of you is deployed, they can grant the other spouse power of attorney to allow them to make decisions concerning the adoption. In case you have to move before the adoption is finalized, you need to update your home study or apply for a new one depending on where you moved to. For most agencies, you have to complete the home study so they can help you find a child.
Adopting a child while in the military has its benefits. You are entitled between $2,000 and $5,000 a year as adoption reimbursement. These benefits are usually paid after the adoption process has been finalized. You will also get information on child development programs you have access to. A child brightens a home and you have the chance to brighten a child’s life and your own through adoption. This information hopefully gives you an idea of how you can do that.