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Adoption Expenses Reimbursement

In this June 18, 2014 photo, Army Sgt. LaQuisha Gallmon, right, reads a letter from the Veterans Affairs Depart, as she holds her 2-month-old Abbagayle in Greenville, S.C. (Richard Shiro/AP)

Active duty members and reservists may be eligible for reimbursement of up to $2,000 for adoption expenses for a child under the age of 18. Adoption expenses may be reimbursed for:

  • the adoption of a child under the age of 18;
  • an adoption by a single person;
  • an infant adoption,
  • an inter-country adoption;
  • an adoption of a child with special needs
  • and stepchildren adopted by the military member.

Adoptions qualify for reimbursement only if the adoption is arranged by a qualified adoption agency, or other source authorized to place children for adoption under state or local law.

Who Is Eligible for Adoption Reimbursement Expenses?

Active duty members and reservists who have been on active duty for at least 180 consecutive days are eligible for adoption reimbursement expenses. In addition, members are not entitled to reimbursement expenses if they leave active duty before the adoption is final. Applicants are eligible for reimbursement expenses if the adoption is finalized before leaving active duty, the claim form has been signed and certified by the member’s commanding officer, and the claim is submitted to DFAS prior to discharge.

How Much is the Adoption Reimbursement?

Members may be eligible for reimbursement of up to $2,000 per child with a maximum of $5,000 per member per year. In the case of two married service members only one member may claim expenses for each adopted child and the couple is limited to the $5,000 per calendar year maximum.

Authorized Reimbursable Expenses

Reasonable and necessary expenses include the following:

  1. Public and private agency fees, including adoptive fees charged by an agency in a foreign country;
  2. Placement fees, including fees charged adoptive parents for counseling;
  3. Legal fees, including court costs, for services that are unavailable to a member for the Military services;
  4. Medical expenses, including hospital expenses, of the biological mother of the child to be adopted and of a newborn infant to be adopted; and
  5. Temporary foster care charges when payment of such charges is required to be made before the adoptive child’s placement.

Unqualified Expenses

The term “reasonable and necessary expenses” does not include:

  1. Travel costs of the adopting parent; or
  2. Any costs associated with an adoption arranged in violation of federal, state, or local law

How to Apply for Adoption Reimbursement

Complete the DD Form 2675, Reimbursement Request For Adoption Expenses, and submit it through your chain of command. Attach copies of all receipts, agency documentation, and court papers associated with the adoption proceedings or court-certified copies. In the case of foreign adoptions; certified translations, U.S. currency equivalents, and extra documentation may be required.

The completed DD Form 2675 and substantiating documentation must be submitted for review to the member’s servicing personnel activity no later than:

  1. 1 year after finalization of the adoption; or
  2. 1 year after obtaining U.S. citizenship if a foreign adoption.

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