A tax credit for adoptive families that was initially removed from the
GOP tax bill as part of its massive tax overhaul has been restored after
backlash from individuals and organizations spanning the ideological spectrum.
Both sides of the political aisle agree that caring for kids and creating
healthy families helps strengthen our communities.
The Adoption Tax Credit allows adoptive parents to take a credit of up
to $13,570 of qualified expenses paid towards their adoption. The original
version of the Tax Bill offered as part of a massive tax overhaul by the
GOB eliminated the Adoption Tax Credit based on arguments that it was
costly and only benefits wealthier families who adopted, since the credit
is only available to people who itemize their deductions. This argument
was rejected and this myth dispelled.
First, the tax credit phases out, and is eventually eliminated, after a
family’s adjusted gross income exceeds defined levels. Second, the
Adoption Tax Credit has shown to be a major factor enabling families of
all backgrounds to step forward and adoption.
But most importantly, the Adoption Tax Credit benefits children and society.
The purpose of the Adoption Tax Credit is to enable and empower families
of all backgrounds to step forward to adopt children who lack parental care. The Adoption Tax Credit benefits children and communities by keeping children
out of foster care.
There are more than 100,000 children in foster and approximately 25,0000
minors age out of foster care every year. Despite well-intended systems
throughout the state and federal system, foster care has dire yet
preventable consequences for children. Studies have shown that security, confidence,
and healthy physical and mental development depends on strong, permanent
attachments that occur in early childhood and continue into adulthood.
The devastating insecurity results when a child grows into adulthood with
no emotional safety net has severe consequences for youth who age out
of care. Studies show that 20% become homeless after age 18; only 50%
being employed upon reaching age 24; less than 3% will earn a college
degree; 71% of female youth aging out of foster care pregnant by age 21;
and 25% diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (twice the rate
of United States war veterans). Many of these young people wind up in
prison or otherwise repeat the cycle of violence and helplessness experienced
in their earlier lives.
The Joint Committee on Taxation asserted that the Adoption Tax Credit tax
credit will cost taxpayers nearly $4 billion over ten years. Yet, this
figure fails to account for the financial costs on society by the failure
of these young people to secure an education, employment and stability,
a cost which is staggering and easily dwarfs the stated cost of the tax
benefit. See “The Human, Social, And Economic Cost of Aging Out
of Foster Care,” an article written by Wayne Winston Sharp PH.D.
for the Adoption Advocate, Issue 83 a publication of the National Council
for Adoption (May, 2015).
The Adoption Tax Credit was retained in the tax bill because it makes economic
and practical sense. Children who grow, develop and learn in safe, stable
and secure environments with the protection of families ultimately create
functional and thriving societies as adults.
Do you have any questions regarding your eligibility to adopt or how the
adoption tax credit may benefit you? Contact our
Philadelphia adoption lawyer, New Jersey and Delaware at the Law Offices of Deborah E. Spivack today.
Working with an adoption attorney can help you develop a legally secure
adoption plan and determine the risks and costs involved. We offer services
in Philadelphia, Delaware, and New Jersey regions.
Call (888) 899-6212 or contact us online
to schedule a consultation.