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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Nov. 28, 2023

Celebrating National Adoption Month of November

By Lisa Johnson, Coast Guard’s Family Support Services Program Manager

The 2023 National Adoption Month theme, “Empowering Youth: Finding Points of Connection”, emphasizes the importance of providing opportunities that connect youth to their backgrounds so they can establish and maintain meaningful permanent relationships. 

National Adoption Month seeks to increase national awareness of adoption issues, bring attention to the need for adoptive families for teens in the U.S. foster care system, and emphasizes the value of youth engagement. Approximately 114,000 children and youth who are waiting to be adopted are at risk of aging out of care. 

Each year approximately 20-25 Coast Guard families open their hearts and their homes through adoption. Many of these families have adopted multiple children throughout the years, and from all over the world. Each of their stories are unique and full of love and gratitude.  

As adoption can be costly, there are a few resources available for Coast Guard members to alleviate some of the fees associated with adoption. The Office of Work-Life offers a $2,000 reimbursement and Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CGMA) offers a $3,000 home study grant, in addition to interest-free loans.  

Please view the White House Proclamation on National Adoption Month where President Biden speaks on initiatives to help more military families cover the costs of adoption, keep extended families together and expand leave programs in relation to adoption. 

If you are considering fostering or adopting, these resources can help you begin your journey: 

  • Adoption Reimbursement Program offers Coast Guard active duty and reserve members on active duty for at least 180 consecutive days reimbursement of adoption fees up to $2,000 per child, and a maximum of $5,000 in any calendar year. 
  •  CG SUPRT assists Coast Guard personnel and their families with adoption resources. They can be contacted at 855-CGSUPRT or 855-247-8778. 
  • Coast Guard Mutual Assistance offers an interest-free loan up to $6,000 for qualified expenses relating to the adoption and a grant, not to exceed $3,000, for the cost of a home study fee. 
  • Visit the Health and Human Services website to learn more about adoption and National Adoption Month.  
  • To locate the Work-Life staff at your Health, Safety and Work-Life Regional Practice, call 1-202-475-5100.