There is no reason for adoption to be as expensive as it is. We thankfully have more and more people adopting, but the prices are expensive. For many families, t’s almost impossible to have your own children while also wanting to adopt. It’s even harder for families who may be unable to have children, but can’t spend the insane up-front costs of adopting.

Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), Bob Casey (D-PA), and James Inhofe (R-OK) introduced the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act of 2019 on May 23, 2019. Senator Blunt’s press release stated the following:

“The adoption tax credit was made permanent in the American Taxpayer Relief Act in January 2013. However, that law did not extend the refundability provisions that applied to the adoption tax credit in 2010 and 2011. The Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act would restore the refundable portion of this critical support for families wishing to adopt.”

“According to the Department of Health and Human Services, about one-third of all adopted children live in families with annual household incomes at or below 200 percent of the poverty level. Despite the common misperception that only wealthy families adopt, nearly 46 percent of children adopted from foster care live in families with incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Many of these families’ income taxes are so low that they cannot benefit from the adoption tax credit at all unless it is refundable.”

“Data from 2011, which is the last year the adoption tax credit was refundable, indicates that nearly 62 percent of families who filed for the adoption tax credit benefited from refundability. Forty-one percent of families who benefited from refundability (25 percent of all families who took the tax credit) had AGIs under $50,000. This data indicates that a refundable adoption tax credit plays a significant role in lower-income families’ ability to adopt and support a child from foster care.”

Senator Inhofe also stated in this press release:

“…adoption is not without its difficulties and, too often, can be a costly process. Making the adoption tax credit fully refundable will ease that financial burden so more families can choose to adopt and welcome children into their homes.”

This tax credit could relieve a lot of financial burdens for those wanting to adopt. It is also a relief on the taxpayers. Why? Because it is cheaper to adopt than to foster a child for 18 years of their lives. This kind of reform is necessary not only for the potential parents of these adopted children, but it is imperative that kids are entering homes where money isn’t a massive issue and it’s not a choice between a new pair of shoes and a week of groceries. 

There are around 107,000 children in the United States looking for their forever homes. This bill would greatly increase the chances of these kids finding a family that would love and nurture them. 

Please contact your senators and representatives to make sure this moves to committees quickly and can get to the President’s desk ASAP.

Adoption should always be affordable.

Caroline C.
FFL Cabinet Member
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