International adoption went off the fiscal cliff in 2008. Prior to that many countries were tightening requirements, if not closing their adoption programs. The economic loss suffered by Americans when the stock market plunged in 2008 made it far more difficult for many Americans to raise money for international adoptions. In previous economic times, these same families would not have hesitated to commit to an international adoption.
The Adoption Tax Credit has enabled many families to pursue adoption. If the Adoption Tax Credit sunsets on December 31, 2012, many thousands of children who desperately need parents will remain in orphanages and foster care, with no opportunity to ever have a permanent family.
Kidsave believes that international adoption is a key element in solving the world’s orphan crisis. Most families who are interested in growing their families through international adoption are simply not able to pay fees that easily exceed $25,000. But when an adoption’s costs can be cut by $13,360 through a tax credit, raising the rest of the money is still possible for some families. The entrepreneurial American spirit kicks in – with a Tax Credit in their pocket, families raise funds for the remaining cost in many different ways. They host spaghetti dinners, raise money via their own personal websites, and seek donations from friends willing to help them make up the difference. But if families are forced to raise the entire cost of international adoption, many will lose hope.
Kidsave’s work is introducing interested people to older, orphaned children who otherwise won’t have a chance for a family. We have had great success over the years – giving over 1,700 children summer vacations with families and placing 8 of 10 of those children in adoptive families. The Adoption Tax Credit helped make these adoptions affordable. Without the Adoption Tax Credit, our job of finding adoptive families for these great kids will become much harder.
The cost of adopting a child in U.S. foster care is typically borne by the states/feds. However, the Adoption Tax Credit (or the tax exclusion) does help families who adopt foster children with special needs. The $13,360 tax credit is available to all families –even if they don’t have a tax liability. This tax credit helps families pay for their adopted child’s medical expenses, special schools and other needed services.
Americans adopting American children privately will experience the same hardship as those adopting internationally. Without the Adoption Tax Credit, the costs will just be too high to make many private adoptions possible.
We urge everyone who cares about children to contact their members of Congress to save the Adoption Tax Credit. There are two identical bills, one in the House HR 4373 and one in the Senate S 3616. Please call your member of Congress and ask them to support these bills. Let’s give as many children without parents as possible the opportunity to grow up in loving families.