DoD Adoption Reimbursement Program

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National Military Family Association

National Military Family Association
2500 North Van Dorn Street, Suite 102
Alexandria, VA 22302-1601
Phone: (703) 931-6632, Fax: (703) 931-4600, E-mail:

DoD Adoption Reimbursement Program
Public law 102-190 effective December 5, 1991, established a permanent adoption reimbursement program for active duty members of the military services. Two United States Code sections provide for the reimbursement of qualifying adoption expenses paid by service members: COMDTINST 1754.9A implements 14 US Code Section 514 covering Coast Guard members and Department of Defense Instruction 1341.9, DoD Adoption Reimbursement Policy implements 10 US Code Section 1052 covering members of the Armed Forces.

An active duty member of the military services who incurs expenses for the adoption of a child under age 18 may be reimbursed up to $2,000 per child (with a maximum reimbursement to one service member of $5,000 in any calendar year) for qualifying expenses. No more than one member of a dual military couple may be reimbursed for the expenses for the adoption of the same child. Couples where both spouses are members of a military service may not receive reimbursement under the program totaling more than $5,000 in any calendar year.

Benefits are only payable after the adoption is final. Requests for reimbursements must be submitted not later than one year after finalization of the adoption. A benefit may not be paid for any expense paid to or for a member of the military services under any other adoption benefits program administered by the federal government or under any such program administered by a state or local government. A separate form must be submitted for each child adopted.


The adoption must be arranged by one of the following procedures:

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Qualifying Expenses

Non-Qualifying Expenses
Qualifying adoption expenses do not include expenses:

The expenses incurred by the adoption of the service member's child(ren) or the spouse's child(ren) are not reimbursable. In the majority of the cases of stepchildren/family adoptions, the stepchild/family member is already in the home. A state or local government agency or qualified adoption agency has not taken the required active role of placement of the child in the home. The adoption is a legal formality necessary to create the parental relationship between the child and the family member.

Applying for Reimbursement
The adoption must have been final while the service member was on continuous active duty or full-time National Guard duty with orders specifying a period of at least 180 days, and the request must be submitted within 365 days of the final adoption decree. DoD personnel use DD Form 2675, "Reimbursement Requests for Adoption Expenses." This form can be found at

Your servicing unit personnel office is also a good place to obtain the reimbursement claim form. There have been some changes to the information you must submit but, DD2675 has not been updated. Note the following items, which are not reflected on the current DD2675:

Coast Guard members use form CG 5553 from COMDTINST1754.9A. As with the DD2675 the reimbursement is non-taxable.

Other Benefits Related to Adoption
Extension of Assignment

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Service members may request voluntary extension of assignment, under DoD Directive 1315.7 beyond their prescribed tour, to complete the adoption process for a child less than 18 years of age.

Military Leave

Public Law 109-163 allows up to 21 days of leave in addition to regular leave, to be used in connection with the adoption. Only service members who are eligible for reimbursement of adoption expenses are eligible for this leave. In the event that two members of the armed forces who are married to each other adopt a child in a qualifying child adoption, only one such member shall be allowed this special leave. This provision is effective January 6, 2006 and shall apply only with respect to adoptions completed on or after that date.

Deployment Deferment

Permanent Change of Station Allowances (PCS) and Medical Benefits

Coast Guard Parental Leave

Mutual Assistance Loans to Pay Expenses

Tax Advantages

Child with Special Needs

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An eligible child is a child with special needs if he or she is a citizen or resident of the United States (including the District of Columbia and U.S. possessions) and a state determines that the child cannot or should not be returned to his or her parents' home and probably will not be adopted unless adoption assistance is provided to the adoptive parents. A foreign child can not be treated as a child with special needs. Factors used by states to determine if a child has special needs could include:

If your state has determined that the child you are adopting is a child with special needs, you should keep evidence of that fact for your records.

Citizenship Changes
The Child Citizenship Act (P.L. 106-395) effective February 28, 2001 grants automatic citizenship to foreign-born adopted children under these conditions:

International Adoption
Parents considering an international adoption may want to contact the U.S. Department of State, Children's Issues Desk at 202.647.2688 and inquire as to the status of the agency or organization handling adoption before the parent signs anything or pays any fees. Legal advice is also available from military legal assistance offices located on most military installations. Should you consult a private attorney, consider asking if he or she is an expert in the field of adoptions. Military chaplains and social service personnel may also be of assistance.

Online Resources
National Adoption Information Clearinghouse maintains an informative website with information for all families about adoption. Of special interest to military families are the fact sheets: "Military Families and Adoption: A Fact Sheet for Families" and "Military Families and Adoption -A Bulletin for Professionals"

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