On this Veterans Day, we want to thank the men and women who serve and protect us in the military! We are honored to help support and grow your families through adoption. While working with military families does come with special considerations, our staff is fully qualified to address any situations as they arise. Here are some frequently asked questions and tips for military families:
What if a spouse is deployed during the adoption process?
The deployment of a spouse does not stop the adoption process. The spouse being deployed will simply need to grant a power of attorney to the other spouse, thus allowing them to make all legal decisions regarding the adoption for the other spouse while they are away.
What if we are transferred to another state during the adoption process?
Many families, both civilian and military, need to move during the adoption process due to job relocation or other reasons. The waiting family will need to get a home study update or a new home study, depending on the home study provider. This may postpone the adoption process, as a fully updated home study is required for all adoptions. Until your home study is completed or updated, we will be unable to present your profile to an expectant mother for an adoption opportunity. Once this step is completed, your profile will once again be shown to expectant mothers and your adoption process will continue forward.
Does American Adoptions offer services to Military Families Stationed Outside of the U.S.
No matter where your family is stationed, American Adoptions can help you fulfill your dreams of parenthood. Our agency has worked with couples from across the globe. But there are some basic considerations for families stationed outside the US:
Step 1: The Adoption Home Study
A home study is required for every adoption. Military couples abroad must ensure that their home study meets the regulations of the country they reside in. Couples are encouraged to first research the home study requirements of their country prior to beginning the home study process; refer to the Social Services Department of the base where you reside for advice on finding a qualified home study provider. The agency will also require the home study and any additional supporting documents be needed be translated into English. Once the home study is complete, American Adoptions will work with the home study provider to ensure it meets all US requirements.
Step 2: Legal Representation
American Adoptions strongly recommends that couples living outside of the United States speak with an adoption or immigration attorney in the country they reside in to discuss any legal or immigration/citizenship issues that may affect the adoption. Military families should consult with their local JAG office about their adoption plans prior to beginning the adoption process. Couples should seek to retain an attorney with specific knowledge and experience in the steps that will be necessary to bring a child from the United States into the country they reside in. Our agency will require written verification from either legal counsel or an adoption authority in your country verifying that your adoption will be valid in your country.
Step 3: The Adoption Process
Once American Adoptions verifies that your home study meets all US requirements and we have received your Preliminary App, Profile Kit and Questionnaire, you will become an active family with American Adoptions and your profile will be shown to expectant mothers. Your adoption process will proceed as all other American Adoptions’ cases from the time you are active with the agency until you receive an adoption opportunity with an expectant mother and receive placement of the child.
Step 4: Placement/Finalization
Military couples living abroad will be required to travel to the US for the placement of the child. You will need to apply for a passport for the baby before being allowed to return to your the country where you are stationed. This process can take an average of 2-4 weeks. American Adoptions and/or your legal counsel will guide you through the steps for this process. This process may require you to travel to another part of the US to physically appear at one of the passport agencies that can assist in expedited passport services. Additionally, couples may be required to travel back to the US for the finalization of the adoption, which typically occurs approximately six months following the placement of the child.
Military couples living abroad will be responsible for meeting all citizenship, immigration and passport requirements for the adopted child. Couples should note that procuring a passport for their adopted child may require lengthy steps. Couples are encouraged to seek the services of an experienced immigration or adoption attorney in the country they reside in to ensure that all immigration requirements are met. Military couples should also consult with their local JAG office for information on obtaining a passport for the adopted child and any other travel concerns that may arise when traveling from the US to the overseas military base where you are stationed.
All post-placement supervision visits must be done according to US requirements and the requirements of the state where the adoption occurs. Since American Adoptions will not yet know in which state the adoption will occur, military couples must ensure that their post-placement provider is prepared to meet these requirements. Our agency will give your post-placement provider further assistance at the time of the supervision so they know how many visits to have, how to write the reports, where to send them, etc. If you plan to stay in the US during the post-placement supervision time period, please prepare to contract with a post-placement provider in the United States. We can assist you with this further once you have received your placement.
What resources within the military are supportive of families in general and might assist military families in their adoption pursuit?
To learn more about resources available to support military families who are pursuing adoption and for other important things to know for military families overseas and in the US, read the article Military Families and Adoption on the American Adoptions website.