Adoption has never been easy for those in the military. Traditionally, only the most persistent and resourceful families have been able to adopt. Because many military families move often, most agencies have been reluctant to begin the adoption process with anyone in the service. Likewise, knowledge of social workers' attitudes and agency policy has kept military families from applying to adopt.
"The issue of relocation is one of the major problems our families have faced when they are considering adoption," confirms Al Smith, Deputy Director of the Family Service Center at the Naval Development Station in South Weymouth, Massachusetts. Smith stresses that although the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) allows a child from one State to be adopted by a family who moves to another State, some agencies are still uneasy about placing a child who will move across State lines. ICPC is an informal agreement between certain States - one that an individual agency may or may not choose to implement. "Strong advocacy has to come from the families," says Smith. "They have to prove that their new agency in California is just as thorough and stringent in its homestudy and follow up processes as their original agency in Massachusetts."
Even with the difficulties, there are many adoption professionals who provide services to military families, both for those serving in the U.S. and those stationed abroad. For more information, visit our resources for Military families.
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