Adopting a Child

Adopted children are covered by TRICARE.  Once the adoption is complete, take the steps to establish your child's eligibility in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).

TRICARE Coverage

Your child is eligible for TRICARE:

  • Until his or her 21st birthday, or
  • Until his or her 23rd birthday 
    • If enrolled study at an approved institution of higher learning (full course load), and
    • The sponsor continues to provide 50% of the child's financial support
  • Even if the sponsor gets divorced or remarried

Coverage may extend beyond the normal age limits if he or she is severely disabled.

Your child’s health plan options depend on the sponsor's military status and where you're living:


Stepchildren are also eligible for TRICARE. 

  • They don’t have to be adopted to be covered by TRICARE as long as the sponsor and the parent of the stepchildren are married.
  • If the marriage ends in divorce, the stepchildren lose eligibility on the date the divorce decree is final.
  • If stepchildren are adopted by the sponsor, they are covered as described above.

Last Updated 4/4/2014

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