Adopting a Child

TRICARE covers your adopted child.  Once you complete the adoption, register your child in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System(DEERS) A database of information on uniformed services members (sponsors), U.S.-sponsored foreign military, DoD and uniformed services civilians, other personnel as directed by the DoD, and their family members. You need to register in DEERS to get TRICARE. (DEERS).

TRICARE Coverage

Your child can get TRICARE coverage:

  • Until their 21st birthday, or
  • Until their 23rd birthday 
    • If they enroll at an approved institution of higher learning with a full course load, and
    • The sponsor provides 50% of their financial support
  • Even if the parents get a divorce

If your child has a severe disability, they may be able to get coverage beyond the normal age limits.

After they age out of TRICARE, your adult child may purchase TRICARE Young Adult up until their 26th birthday. >>Learn more

Your child’s health plan depends on their sponsor's military status and where you live:


Your stepchild can also get TRICARE coverage. 

  • The sponsor doesn’t have to adopt the stepchild if married to the stepchild’s parent.
  • If the sponsor and parent get a divorce, the stepchild’s coverage will end on the date the divorce decree is final.
  • If the sponsor adopts the stepchild, please see above.

Last Updated 7/24/2014