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VA reimburses adoption expenses for qualifying veterans

April 09, 2018 - 3:00 pm
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If your service-connected disability has affected your ability to have children, the VA can now reimburse you for expenses related to adopting a child.

The VA has already been reimbursing veterans and their spouses for in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures, but this new rule opens up another avenue for veterans to have children. However, this benefit is only available to veterans until Sept. 30, 2018.

The Federal Register website published this interim final rule March 5, 2018 and the terms for reimbursement are the same as the Department of Defense’s adoption reimbursement policy.

What adoptions qualify?

Adoptions for a child under 18 years of age that are finalized after Sept. 29, 2016 are covered. The reimbursement can be made to either a married or single person for an infant adoption, an intercountry adoption and an adoption of a child with special needs.

How soon must I submit for reimbursement?

Submitting an application and supporting documents to the VA for reimbursement must be done within two years after the adoption is final, or in the case of an adoption of a foreign-born child, within two years of the child being issued their U.S. citizenship certificate. Remember, the VA is only authorizied to make reimbursements until Sept. 30, 2018.

How much can I be reimbursed?

No more than $2,000 can be reimbursed to an eligible veteran per adoption. If two eligible veterans are married to one another, only one can claim the reimbursement. Also, no more than $5,000 can be reimbursed to a veteran or veteran couple within a calendar year.

What expenses are covered for reimbursement?

Covered expenses include agency fees, placement fees, legal fees, as well as medical expenses for the biological mother and the child that will be adopted. The reimbursement will not cover things not directly related to the adoption such as clothing, bedding, toys, books, or travel expenses.

Where can I find more information?

For more details about the reimbursement authorization, visit the Federal Register page.

The application to submit for reimbursement is VA Form 10152, "Reimbursement Request for Qualifying Adoption Expenses." You must have the latest Adobe Reader to download this document. Otherwise, you can visit your local VA medical center or VA primary care provider for a copy.