Irene Jordan, Assessments and International Program Director
The Federal Adoption Tax Credit has enabled many children to be adopted, by making adoptions more affordable. Since 1997, the tax credit has assisted families to adopt thousands of children from foster care in the U.S., from domestic agency adoption, from domestic private adoption, as well as from orphanages and foster care overseas. The tax credit was made permanent for the adoption of special needs children from foster care. However, credits for all other adoptions are scheduled to end by December 31, 2012. This will have great impact on children in need of families, as many families will not be able to afford adoption expenses.
There is broad support in the Senate and in the House for the adoption tax credit to be continued as a permanent part of the tax code. Representative Braley (D-IA) introduced the Making Adoption Affordable Act (HR 4373) on April 17. The bill has gained bipartisan co-sponsors. Senators Landrieu (R-LA), Blunt (R-MO), Hutchison (R-TX) and Cardin (D-MD) introduced Making Adoptions Affordable Act (S 3616) on September 21st These bills are expected to be considered after the November election. The adoption tax credit could expire, however, as a result of the standoff in Washington over the issue of tax cuts. Having more Congressional co-sponsors will increase the chances that the tax credit is included in the tax negotiations.
The Adoption Tax Credit Working Group, a collaboration of adoption and child welfare organizations, is working to build support to make the Federal Adoption Tax Credit become a permanent part of the tax code. Adoptions Together is a member of this working group.
What Can You Do?
· Check the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group website http://adoptiontaxcredit.org/ to see if your senators are listed as co-sponsors of S 3616. Contact your senators by phone, mail or email. Ask each senator to co-sponsor Bill S 3616, or thank him/her for being a cosponsor. http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
· Check the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group website http://adoptiontaxcredit.org/ to see if your representative is listed as a co-sponsor of HR 4373. Contact your Representative by phone, mail or email. Ask your representative to co-sponsor Bill HR 4373, or thank him/her for being a co-sponsor. http://www.house.gov/representatives/
· If you have been affected by the adoption tax credit, or if you will be affected if the tax credit expires, share your personal story with your legislators.
The following link provides more information about the importance of the Adoption Tax Credit.