This is the third installment in my series on adoption for military families. In the first installment, we talked about the four kinds of adoption to choose from when a family decides to adopt. If you missed Part 1, you can view it by clicking here. In the second installment, we talked about the home study, and unique challenges military families face in the home study process. If you missed Part 2, you can view it by clicking here.
In this installment, we’re going to look at resources available to assist military families going through the adoption process. There are three kinds of adoption resources available to military families: (1) health care resources; (2) family support resources; and (3) financial resources. Some of these resources are provided by the Department of Defense (DOD), and therefore could change over time. I have included links to the DOD’s page concerning these benefits, which is where you will always find the most updated information on them.
Health Care Resources
When you have a baby in the military, that child is automatically covered by TRICARE Prime for sixty days from birth to allow the family time to enroll that child in DEERS. The same is true for adopted children.
From the time a family has a court order of adoption, the child adopted enjoys TRICARE Prime coverage automatically for sixty days from the date of placement in the home, but an application must be filed to keep TRICARE Prime coverage beyond those sixty days. After the initial sixty-day period, the child becomes covered by TRICARE Standard automatically for up to 365 days. However, as with TRICARE Prime, for the child to remain on TRICARE Standard, an application must be filed within that time frame.
Although military families adopt more frequently than the national average, the percentage of children added to homes by adoption is still very low. This means that the staff member helping you with a DEERS enrollment may or may not be familiar with these rules. To be safe, it’s good to know the regulations that support your enrollment. Thankfully, the National Military Family Association has all of these regulations collected in one place.