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NEWS | Jan. 4, 2024

Kentucky’s Adoption Assistance Program expands growing Guard family

By Capt. Cody Stagner, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

Since 2006, the Kentucky National Guard’s access to the Military Family Assistance Trust (MFAST) Fund stands as a testament to the Commonwealth’s commitment to its Soldiers and Airmen, offering support in times of need such as a flood, tornado, fire, or earthquake.
An expansion of the use of these funds enables Guardsmen like Army Master Sgt. Michael Meredith, the senior human resources noncommissioned officer for the 63rd Theater Aviation Brigade, to overcome challenges faced when adopting a new member into their family.
Michael and his wife of 13 years, Maritza, faced fertility issues, which led them to adopt their oldest son, Brayden, in 2016. The joy Brayden brought to the Merediths inspired them to consider another adoption, despite initial concerns about the financial burden of additional adoption fees.
According to Meredith, their financial worries were partly lifted upon discovering the Kentucky National Guard Adoption Assistance Program, backed by MFAST funds, however, it took a community to make their wish come true.
“I can’t thank my Guard family members who attended our events enough for helping us finalize our adoption,” he said in reference to family fund-raising activities hosted by the Merediths.
Three became four after three years on a waiting list and a community came to support, when Michael, Maritza, and Brayden were joined by Jameson in March of 2023.
Meredith, a Louisville native who has dedicated 18 years to the Guard and served in various Active Guard and Reserve roles, was impressed by the program’s straightforward application process.
“The process of applying for the benefit is extremely easy,” he said. “The application consists of a pre-formatted cover letter, a standardized application, and the adoption order. We received a check in the mail a few weeks after our application was submitted.”
Guardsmen may be approved for reimbursement for adoption-related expenses, up to $7,000 for a child with special needs and $5,000 for other adoptions.
Reflecting on parenthood and the adoption experience, Meredith offered advice to others considering this path.
“We have been foster and adoptive parents. Both avenues are well worth the outcome. We completed the adoption of both our boys through a private agency for the individualized attention with the goal of adoption. This process with a private agency is a journey. You should plan for potential disruptions and a roller-coaster of emotions,” he said.
Meredith’s journey, marked by service, challenges, and joy, mirrors the experiences of many service members who find hope and support through the MFAST program.
For more information on MFAST and the support it offers to Kentucky Guardsmen facing financial hardships due to deployment, catastrophic events, or adoption, please visit the Department of Military Affairs at This resource is invaluable for those in need of assistance and guidance in challenging times.
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