Support needed for adoption tax credit

Published 9:16 am Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dear Editor,

While the decision to adopt a child is one of the most joyful and rewarding a family can make, it may also be one of the most expensive.

For most domestic infant or intercountry adoptions, the cost is typically between $10,000 and $40,000. Adoption from foster care is more affordable upfront, but children adopted from foster care often have significant special needs that may require added expenses for years to come.

Many children in need of families have faced challenges and may need additional care to reach their full potential. The adoption tax credit, currently $12,650, goes a long way to support parents willing to give families to children who need and deserve them.

Since 1997, the adoption tax credit has helped thousands of American families defray a portion of the high cost of adoption, allowing them to provide children with loving, permanent families through adoption while experiencing reduced financial hardship.

Although the adoption tax credit has been extended every year, it has never been made a permanent part of the tax code, despite its wide bipartisan support and the strong recommendations of child welfare advocates.

Unless Congress takes action, on Dec. 31, 2012, the adoption tax credit will be reduced to less than half of its current amount, and very few adoptive families will be eligible for it.

Without immediate action, the 2012 adoption tax credit will not be refundable, meaning that many lower- or moderate-income families will not benefit at all.

If many American families can’t afford the high costs related to adoption, it is the waiting children who will suffer — the more than 100,000 children currently available for adoption from foster care, and the countless millions of orphaned and abandoned children worldwide.

Our legislators have the opportunity to continue the life-changing support the adoption tax credit provides. Use your voice to bring change for children. Contact your senators and representatives in Congress and ask them to act on behalf of children and families and save the adoption tax credit.

Lauren Roe