Why Is the Adoption Tax Credit SO Important?

The adoption tax credit helps many families become just that: families. This is especially important considering the odds that many children face without families.

When you walk down the infertility options path, one of the many things you hear quite often are the two words, “Just adopt!” As I’ve learned over the years, one of the misunderstandings of that statement is that it implies that adoption is super easy or somehow, less expensive than pursuing fertility treatment.

The truth is adoption is quite often more expensive than IVF. Adoption costs can be quite difficult to pin down as there are many variables to consider but overall, an adoption agency can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $30,000. International adoption costs can be higher.

This is why an adoption tax credit, which was made permanent in 2012, can make all the difference to both children and hopeful parents. It can create access for families who may be middle to low income but who can provide a stable and loving home to a child in need.

The reason I’m writing about this is because congress has been considering eliminating the adoption tax credit, raising the cost of adoption and cutting off that access. Even with the existing adoption credit, many families cannot benefit unless the credit is made refundable. There has been a big push to strongly urge congress to keep the adoption credit as well as make it refundable again.

One of the groups behind that push is Save the Adoption Credit. They are made up of a group of organizations that includes Resolve, the National Infertility Association, and individuals working together to support adoption and the tax credit. On their website, they explain that nearly 112,000 children in U.S. foster care waiting to be adopted and countless orphaned and abandoned children around the world. For many, this credit can make or break their journey to build their families and I don’t think it’s an exaggeration when I say that it could help save the lives of kids in need.

It’s important to note, too, that research supports how financial assistance can encourage adoption and create better outcomes for children. According to Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, outcomes for children who remain in foster care are dire and come with significant costs:

  • Only 58% graduate high school by 19
  • < 3% will earn a college degree
  • 1 in 5 will face homelessness
  • 1 in 4 will be involved in the justice system within two years
  • Only 50% will be employed by 24
  • 71% of young women are pregnant by 21
  • 1 in 4 will experience PTSD

In addition, as per R.P. Barth, C.K. Lee, J. Wildfire, and S. Guo titled, “A Comparison of the Governmental Costs of Long-Term Foster Care and Adoption, “Social Service Review (March 2006), an adoption tax credit actually saves the government between $65,000 to $127,000 for each child who is adopted rather than placed in long-term foster care.

Of course, when you adopt, whether it’s domestic, international or through foster care, it’s never easy as the dreaded “Just adopt!” but having this adoption tax credit can help make the process more financially attainable. It’s a bipartisan, pro-family benefit that has helped many families become exactly that: families.

As someone who knows the pain both emotionally and financially of wanting a child, I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t support this. If you are someone interested in adopting or if you’re someone who cares about helping others build their family through adoption, I encourage you to visit Resolve. They have created new action alerts set up for you to contact the senators and representatives in your district.

Every child deserves a home and if this credit helps bring them one step closer to being adopted, I sincerely hope you’ll support it.