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Is adoption possible for service members in Virginia?

The desire to expand one's family isn't a desire that is stopped simply because a person joins the military. For some members of the military, expanding their family means adopting a child. There are some specific considerations that members of the military must think about when they decide to explore the possibility of adoption.

How will deployments affect adoption?

Deployments can make getting some steps of adoption completed difficult. In some cases, deferments might be possible for a service member who is deployed. Signing paperwork, having background checks done, having biometric fingerprint appointments and home studies are some of the steps that might be effected. This might mean that the deployment can halt the adoption process for several months or more.

What if we have to move because we are changing duty stations?

Every state sets its own requirements for adoptions. This means that you might have to repeat steps in the adoption process if you move. A home study from one state might not be valid in another state. Because of the expense of some steps, you might want to try to finish the adoption process while you are at one duty station. That might mean waiting a bit if you are going to be restationed soon.

Can I take a leave to adopt a child?

You might be able to take a 21-day adoption leave. It depends on the specific circumstances. For example, if you and your spouse are both serving in the military, only one spouse is eligible to take an adoption leave. This might make it difficult to travel if necessary to complete the adoption.

For service members in Virginia, knowing your rights and learning as much as you can about the adoption process might make it easier to go through the process with as little stress as possible.

Source: Military OneSource, "Adoption for Military Families" Jan. 07, 2015

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