My husband is in the military and we are planning on starting the adoption process sometime in the next 6 months. I have researched how the process differs with military couples from civilian adoptions since there is more moving around, the possibility of being stationed overseas, etc. Has anybody gone through the process while in the military that would be willing to share their experiences with me? If you have any information about specific agencies, please feel free to PM me. Thanks.
My husband has been active duty Navy for 15 years now. We adopted our first daughter from Guatemala 5 years ago and have been trying to adopt again for the past 2.5 years from DSS/Foster Care. We just PCS'd in August and after getting our home study updated in our new state we have decided to go with an agency adoption to adopt an infant.
We were very hesitant do go this route because we really felt there are so many children in DSS that it's silly to adopt with an agency. However, we had many heart breaking experiences and loads of frustration with DSS and just couldn't rally ourselves to jump through the hoops again.
Some states are more adoption friendly than others for military but we were in Virginia and had a VERY hard road trying to adopt there. We submitted our home study on aprox 120 children and went to the selection committee (final 2-3 families) 3 different times. Twice we were told that another family was selected because since they do not move as often as we do they could provide a more stable environment. Most of the other matches didn't work because we had a young child in our home already that may have been at risk since ALL children in the system come with emotional issues that will have to be worked out.
So with that said...if you are going to adopt via Foster Care or DSS I would suggest starting the process at a time when you are most likely to stay in one place for at least 2 years. Go directly through the DSS office even if they are slower to get started on the paperwork. This will pay off in the end for you since you will see the caseworkers face to face for trainings. Also, you MUST be a powerhouse paper work do-er and get things done very quickly since you have limited time to sit and wait for matches due to the possibility of new orders or deployments. You'll need to save time wherever possible. Also, if you're going through DSS I HIGHGLY suggest being open to a sibling group if you think you'll ever want more than one child. I know that sounds scary going from 0 kids to 2 but I can't tell you how many times I've wishes I would have done it that way to begin with.
If you're going with a private agency for an infant adoption PM me and I'll give you more info on that. I have some very good sources if you can come up with the money to spend on an agency adoption. We were home study ready in Sept and we are very close to having a match with a birth mother due in Feb. It's a long emotional road you're starting down so get a good support somewhere. Good luck and PM me any time with ?s
Janine S
Thank you for the response. It may be longer than we thought before we can begin the process since my husband still has a couple of years of trainingto go, hence quite a bit of moving around.
I may PM you in the future when we get closer to starting the process. Good luck with your potential adoption.
You have really done a good work if you are adopting second child............ God Bless you your family.
Smith Alan :dance:
We're military and stationed in Colorado. We are with an agency and at the point of starting to get calls. We're looking to stabilize for other reasons but will do all that we can even if it would mean more seperation. That was the biggest thing for us to talk over. The agency knows the situation and says they'll do their best to place a child/children they think will go for adoption. We have to foster for 6 months before we would be considered for adoption anyways. So for you I would say wait until the PCS that you know will be 2-3 year slot but get your paperwork as ready as you can so your not wasteing time doing that.
I grew up with the military and my husband was in the Air Force for several years. We adopted two kids while he was active duty. I am not sure there is anything I can suggest that would help you a lot, but I always feel a kinship with military families, so I will try!
The first child we adopted while in the Air Force was born in Germany, while we were stationed there. The adoption was handled through the county social worker there. His birth parents were both American kids whose fathers were career Air Force. There weren't a lot of adoptions taking place over there, at that time, and we really didn't expect to be able to adopt while there, but we were very fortunate! At that time, there were groups on some of the larger military bases that were trying to organize so that adoptions of babies for to Americans, by Americans, were not handled in the German courts. If you do get overseas orders, I would try to find out what the options are, as far as adoption, wherever it is. I assume that you would be assigned a sponsor, when you get word you are going so maybe they could find out about it for you. Another thought is that, depending on where it is, if it is near a country that has a lot of children in orphanages, there may be a group of Americans who have organized and gone and adopted children. When we were in Germany, there was a group from our base that went to Romania, and adopted children.
While we were in Germany, we had friends who were trying to adopt, though LDS Social Services. The way that agency handled it was that the office that handled adoptions for their last stateside location worked with them. They got a call, out of the blue, one day, saying that they had a baby for them, and they needed to fly to Texas to pick her up. It just so happened that the father was leaving, the next day, for TDY in Texas! The wife got on the soonest flight she could and stayed in Texas for a couple weeks, while they rushed a passport for the baby. You are probably not LDS, but there are other agencies that have offices all over the country, and I would sure ask what their policy was for families who are overseas with the military.
We adopted our daughter while we were at Nellis, in Las Vegas. At that time, they were just starting the military adoption allowance. But, she was a special needs placement, through Nevada Welfare, and her adoption cost next to nothing. We had to move to Utah two months after she was placed with us, but they just transferred her case to the Utah state social services, so it was no big deal!
In general, I think agency workers recognize that people in the military move alot out of necessity, and not because they are unstable or anything like that. Keep looking until you find someone to work with that you feel good about and it will happen!
I am so embarassed! I posted late last night and this morning I realized that I really goofed! I had gotten up from my computer for a while, leaving this thread up. I'd been on the transracial adoptions board for quite a while and, by the time I got back to the computer, I forgot that I had gone to the LDS families board. So, I was thinking I was talking to someone who was not LDS. Now I'm embarrassed, but I can't figure out how to delete the post!
So, since you ARE LDS, I would really suggest talking to LDS Family Services! We actually adopted our first two children through them. In the 80s, they would only accept families who had either one child or no children, except in very rare situations. When we went to Germany, in 1987, we had two boys, ages four and 18 months.
By the 90s, they were doing quite a few transracial placements, and started working with families with more than two children, but the healthy, white, newborns were only placed with people who had no children or one child. It may still be the same, but I am not sure. I would think that they would still do the same thing they did then, as far as working with families who were overseas with the military. If so, you could start your application where you are now, and they would either transfer your application to the office nearest where you go, or keep working with you, if you go overseas.
This reminds me that I need to update my information about LDS Famliy Services. I volunteered for them, back in the 90s, but stopped after our sixth child was born, in 1995. There is one thing I know has changed, and that is that they will now work with people who have found a situation, privately.
I also suggest being very prayerful about where to look for your child (if you're not all ready). I believe very strongly that adoptive mothers have the right to personal revelation about where to look for our children. I had some wonderful experiences, in the process of adopting our six kids!