VA recognizes and offers support for the children of qualifying veterans affected by Agent Orange who have certain birth defects.
The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has opined that, “there is inadequate or insufficient evidence to determine whether there is an association between parental exposure to the [chemicals of interest such as Agent Orange and other herbicides] and birth defects, childhood cancers, or disease in their children as they mature or in later generations.” [Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2014]
Nevertheless, VA has recognized that certain birth defects among veterans’ children are associated with veterans’ qualifying service that presumes exposures to Agent Orange or other herbicides.
- Spina bifida (except spina bifida occulta), a defect in the developing fetus that results in incomplete closing of the spine, is associated with veterans’ exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides.
- Birth defects in children of women Veterans are associated with their wartime military service in Vietnam but are not associated with herbicide exposure.
- VA: Benefits for Veterans’ Children with Birth Defects
- Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA): Has Your Child or Grandchild’s Health Been Affected by Your Military Service?
VA does not currently recognize or offers support for the children of veterans affected by Gulf War exposures who have birth defects.