There are many issues under consideration by legislators in the current debate surrounding tax reform. One such debate involves the adoption tax credit.& ;
For 2017, couples who adopt a child can receive a tax credit for up to $13,570. This includes both domestic and foreign adoptions. Considering the cost of adoption, that credit can be a significant help for expanding families.
An earlier version of the tax bill introduced by the House would have eliminated the adoption tax credit. However, this portion of the bill was removed after adoption advocates spoke out about the benefit the credit provides to adopting parents. The Senate’s tax bill never included a cut to the adoption credit.
For now, it appears that the adoption credit will continue. Unless further developments occur, families looking to adopt should be able to claim the credit in 2018 and beyond.
November is adoption month
The debate over the adoption tax credit is timely, as November is National Adoption Month. The Children’s Bureau, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, initiated the yearly campaign as a way to raise awareness and promote the benefits of adoption. For the last several years, the campaigns have focused on the need for teens in foster care to find legal and emotional support prior to being aged out of foster care.
Of course, there are no shortage of children of all ages needing adoption. According to data compiled by PBS, there are more than 1.5 million adopted children in the U.S. Approximately 135,000 children are adopted every year.
The benefits of adoption are numerous. Adoption can help the birth mother manage expenses and continue employment or an education. In addition, because there are an increasing number of open adoptions, birth mothers and adoptive parents may work out an arrangement to determine what role birth mothers should play in the life of the adopted child.
Adopted children perform as well as children living with their biological parents, and in some cases, perform better. For example, adopted children are more likely to participate in after-school activities.
Wondering about adoption?
There are numerous resources available to families looking to adopt. While adoption can be a lengthy process, it is certainly a rewarding journey. A lawyer’s role in the adoption process includes helping you find an agency, if needed, filing paperwork on your behalf, and representing you in court. It is particularly essential if you are facing a contested adoption, for example if you wish to adopt your stepchild or grandchild and the biological parent is unwilling to give up parental rights.
Legal expenses qualify for the adoption tax credit.& ;