Adoption and the Military

Photo credit: Benjamin Manley. A woman sits on a bench, back to the camera, with her arms around two small children

The Department of Defense (DoD) has stated that family support is critical for service members. It supports service members who decide to adopt children and tries hard to support families during the adoption process.

There are several types of adoptions, including:
• Adoption of a stepchild
• Adoption of a foster child
• Private agency adoption
• Public agency adoption
• International adoptions (may include a re-adoption in the states)

Adoption Laws
Laws about adoption will be different from state to state. This fact sheet only covers law that is common among most states and federal regulations that may benefit the service member during the adoption process. You will likely need to speak to an attorney in your state about your particular circumstances. The following website is a good starting place to find out about the process and some state law about adoption. See the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse at

Is there help available for the adoption process?
Yes. The DoD provides two main benefits to service members adopting an infant or child:

  1. Reimbursement of adoption expenses up to a certain amount and
  2. The authorization for leaders to permit their service members up to 21 days on non-chargeable leave following an adoption.

Do these benefits apply to me?
To receive any money you must qualify for reimbursement and complete an adoption through a qualified adoption agency. Installation service providers can help identify local qualified adoption agencies.

What do I need to do?

  • Submit a claim for reimbursement by completing DD Form 2675 titled Reimbursement Request for Adoption Expenses.
  • Provide documents that support the claim to the installation personnel office. For children in the United States, supporting documents may include:
    • A copy of the final court order of adoption,
    • Receipts or cancelled checks that show authorized expenses, and
    • Proof that the adoption agency is a qualified agency.

For foreign adoptions, you must complete DD Form 2675 along with the following supporting documents:

  1. Copies of receipts or cancelled checks,
  2. Proof that the adoption agency is a qualified agency,
  3. The adoption decree (translated if not in English), and
  4. Proof of U.S. citizenship status for the child. 

To prove citizenship status of the child, service members can provide any of the following:

  • A copy of the front and back of the Permanent Resident Alien Card (green card) showing the IR-3 code
  • A letter from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services which states the status of the child’s adoption
  • A copy of the child’s U.S. passport (page with personal information only)
  • A copy of the child’s Certificate of Citizenship

Other Resources:


Resource Date: July 2018