Internal adoption common in U.S. military community
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — U.S. servicemembers and American dependents in Europe put scores of babies up for adoption annually, according to a leading volunteer for an adoption help group.
Although no official statistics exist, Jeanie Veith said the estimate is based on her frequent contact with U.S. military hospitals.
Veith is a member of the Kaiserslautern Military Community Adoption Support Group, an organization made up of people stationed in Europe who have adopted children or are looking to adopt.
Most children born to U.S. servicemembers or American dependents stationed overseas are placed for adoption with family members or through adoption agencies or word of mouth, Veith said.
The adoption support group also keeps a list of letters from American couples in the area looking to adopt. Someone looking to put their child up for adoption can thumb through the letters, which often include biographical information and reasons for wanting to adopt, and choose the couple they think would be best. Some birth mothers and fathers even interview prospective parents.
Between five and 15 children a year are adopted through the book of letters.
It’s both a resource for someone with an unplanned pregnancy and for people looking to adopt a child, Veith said.
The group is sponsored by the 435th Air Base Wing at Ramstein Air Base, but the military does not place children. The organization is in its 19th year.