Adoption - The Essentials

Military life isn't a barrier to adoption anymore. Adoption agencies now know that military families can provide adopted children with wonderful homes. Adoption can be a great way to start and grow your family; however, you should make this decision carefully, and consider some aspects unique to military life when deciding to adopt.

Here are the essentials about adopting while in the military:

Know your adoption options.

Military families have five adoption options, including agency adoption, independent adoption, identified adoption (a blend of agency and independent adoption), open adoption (where there is communication between adoptive parents, the brith parents and the child) and international adoption. You'll want to know the ins and outs of each approach so you can think carefully about what kind of support you'll need in the process. Military OneSource can help you get started.

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Understand adoption benefits and allowances.

The high costs associated with adoption can deter some families from considering it as a viable option. Fortunately, there are resources available for military families to help you finance the future of your family. From assistance with adoption expenses to tax credits and non-chargeable leave, you will be well supported with this major life decision.

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Learn about overseas adoption.

Adoption can be more complicated when living overseas, but there are agencies and support groups to guide you through it. Many military families in the same situation successfully adopt every year. If the timing's right for you to grow your family, living overseas won't be an obstacle to adoption. We offer an overview about the process and suggestions for a successful adoption.

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Know what to expect in an adoption home study.

Adoption involves a lot of steps, one of which is the home study. It's a standard part of the adoption process. Working closely with a social worker or counselor, a home study can take several months. Be patient. Understand that a thorough home study is in the best interest of you and the child you plan to welcome into your family. Here, you'll find what's involved and tips for completing a successful home study.

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