Saturday, March 31, 2012

Adoptive Parents: What You Need to Know About the Adoption Tax Credit

Tax time is getting closer, and can't we all use some good news about our taxes? The Adoption Tax Credit is definitely good news for adoptive parents. If you are an adoptive parent, you may be eligible for a refundable tax credit of up to $13,360. This article outlines what you need to know about the adoption tax credit.
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Sally Bacchetta
The Adoptive Parent
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Litha Jameson said...

I have to say that as an adopted person I am totally against giving tax credits for adopting children.

It makes me feel like we're looked at as a purchase... as a commodity bought and sold; that we're possessions.

I'm not against adoption if it really is necessary for the child but I believe that part of choosing to be a parent is to eat such costs.

Sorry... but I had to share my thoughts.

Jenna said...

If not for the adoption tax credit that are a lot of people who wouldn't be able to afford to adopt. Therefore there would be a lot of little people longing for a home, a mommy or daddy, stability and most importantly, LOVE.
Without the ATC, people like Angelina Jolie and Madonna would be the ones out there "buying" babies.
Answer honestly- Would you rather have been adopted or left in the foster system or an orphanage that could barely afford to feed or clothe you?
Words hurt and people should think before speaking. I don't know of one mother who feels that they BOUGHT their child whether they paid for infertility treatments to get pregnant, paid for the Drs, nurses, and hopsital to help them deliver a baby, or adopted a baby. This isn't the 1950's era of closed adoptions from young teen mothers without a choice.

Litha Jameson said...

"Answer honestly- Would you rather have been adopted or left in the foster system or an orphanage that could barely afford to feed or clothe you?"

Actually, I know for a fact that my grandmother brought my mother for an abortion but my mother was too far along to get one. And although my mother says she wanted me, she wasn't allowed to make any of the decisions; her mother decided everything for her and that was only in 1976.

COERCION, whether by agencies, society or family is still alive and well. And placing a child for adoption does not always mean UNLOVED OR UNWANTED (as your commen implies)... More often it simply means that the mother does not have the support or resources to care for a child.

I wasn't trying to purposely hurt anyone and didn't actually say that my parents BOUGHT me. However, my parents adopted me when there was no tax credit and paid $5,000. Years later, they directly said to me, "Don't ask us to help you pay to find your mother because we paid enough to get you." Hmm... sounds a lot like I was bought if you ask me.

I also didn't say anything about infertility treatments. That is a separate issue and I'm not sure why you lumped them together with adoption.

I was expressing how I personally feel about the issue and last time I checked, I have the right to say things that might hurt other people's feelings or say things that others won't like or agree with. If we all walk around afraid to speak our minds then how can we have discussions on anything or attempt to understand someone else's point of view?

But your comment about thinking before speaking also applies to you. Would you ask a non-adopted person the same thing about rather being left in foster care? You don't know my story or what I've been through to find my mother.

Would I have preferred to be aborted? You won't like my answer... it's a definite yes.

Why? Because my mother would not have suffered at 16 an embarrassing pregnancy (FROM RAPE BTW), the emotional abuse and abandonment of her family and a lifetime of mental/emotional issues she has not been able to overcome because she went through all of these things with NO SUPPORT, HELP OR PSYCHOLOGICAL CARE. Instead she was ordered by all the adults in her life to pretend that it never happened and move on. Could you do that at the age of 16 and still grow up well adjusted?

I also would not have suffered many emotional issues caused by being adopted in a closed system (as most adoptions are) and I would not have had to BREAK THE LAW to obtain information that non-adopted people have complete access to and take for granted.

Linda said...

Oh, for God's sake, Jenna. Do you have any idea how old and tired the "Would you rather have been adopted or left in the foster system or an orphanage that could barely afford to feed or clothe you? " garbage. Mothers who surrender never considered abortion and vice versa. And if we had been aborted, we wouldn't have known it then or now. Newsflash: it is NOT the responsibility of fertile women to provide children to the barren. Get. Over. Yourself.

It really doesn't matter if those words hurt the fee-fees of adopters, and it doesn't matter if they felt they "bought a kid". You DID. Period.

Another newsflash for you- it doesn't matter if it is not the 1950's. ALL adoptions are the same in that the adoptee loses their original identity, family, culture and heritage and is forced to live with strangers. Children don't want strangers with things, they want their natural families.

Cassi said...


Lithia said nothing about whether or not mothers felt like they had bought their child. She was talking - AS AN ADOPTEE - about her feelings and thoughts. Her comment had absolutely nothing to do with how mothers feel! But her comment is one I see often from adoptees.

The adoption tax credit was meant to encourage couples to adopt children waiting in foster care who are already in need of a family. It was not originally meant for those doing a domestic infant adoption as the original purpose was to help the children already in need not help couples in need of an infant afford to adopt.

And as for your belief that most mothers today have a choice, you are hugely mistaken. Do your research and you will find that the adoption industry and the NCFA or full of coercion.

Amanda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sally Bacchetta said...

Litha - You never need to apologize on my blog. I'm very glad you shared your thoughts. I admit, I've always felt queasy about the Adoption Tax Credit. I went back and forth with myself about publishing my post, and yours is one of the voices I expected to hear.

Linda - Yours is another. I appreciate you chiming in, and I admire your restraint. You didn't use the word "adoptoraptor"! :)

Jenna - I believe you were not trying to offend when you wrote, "If not for the adoption tax credit that are a lot of people who wouldn't be able to afford to adopt." You're probably right. It is absolutely ridiculous and unethical that adoption was ever turned into a money-making enterprise. It's tragic, though, that there are so many pregnant women who can't get the financial support they need to parent their children. It's just not right that the decision to place should be a financial one. Adoption is in fact a lucrative enterprise - but not for first parents, not for adoptive parents, and certainly not for adoptees. The money factor is a flash point for many people, as I imagine you can understand.

Amanda said...


I think you are missing Litha's point. If there were no money exchanged in adoption, there would be no need for a tax credit. Many adoptees do not like that fees were changed in order for them to recieve a new home and a new family. This is honestly not an outrageous or an offensive opinion. You made it about adoptive parents when it has nothing to do with insulting any person or group. Adoption is an institution, not a person.

The adoption tax credit marks really mixed-up priorities in the United States. Foremost, it is cheaper with less loss involved on children and families to simply spend such money to bolster the support there is for the poor in welfare programs (poverty is among the leading causes of child surrender. Poverty is temporary. Only 2% of TANF recipients use it to its 5 year lifetime maximum).

Secondly, speaking of hurting feelings, "would you rather" is an offensive question to ask an adopted person. Adopted people do not have to justify how their lives turned out in order to have an opinion on an adoption issue they do not like. We are the only ones who can tell others what being adopted is like. Our voices are vital in providing a roadmap for ethical reforms in adoption to provide better services to children, the individuals adoption is supposed to be about, in the future.

Would I have rather stayed in an orphanage or foster care than have had money exchanged in order to have a life provided for me? Are those my only options?

My answer is: neither.

I would rather adoption have no "fees" while children who truly need homes get homes. Fees and child placement are not mutually exclusive. It is possible to provide children in need with loving families while removing unethical barriers in doing so. Money is a barrier and it is an unnecessary part of the adoption equation.

I am my parents' daughter; not their charity project. I am an equal member of my adoptive home, not some poor soul they rescued from a horrible fate in foster care. Children are born into a world full of problems created by adults; problems we didn't ask for but impact us nonetheless. When a child's basic human rights are met and they are loved and nurtured within a family, it is not undeserved "luck" they need to be grateful for.

It is justice.

I also have to point out in response to the "would you rather be left in the foster care system or have an adoption tax credit so your parents could afford to adopt you...."

Foster care adoptions have little to no cost involved. Some states provide public adoptions as a completely free service in an effort to place children in families as quickly as possible. The oversimplified "would you rather" response is not only riddled with stereotype and bias against adoptees and the societal perception of surrendering families, it is inaccurate.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sally Bacchetta said...

Dear "Anonymous",
I removed your comments because you posted anonymously. I've never done that before, but my opinion about anonymous comments, like my opinion about all things adoption-related, has evolved. I welcome other opinions, and I am comfortable with discord. But anonymous posters, for me, bring to mind the faceless-nameless-anonymous forces of cowardice in adoption.
I invite you and anyone else to bring it. Bring it all day long, as long as you're willing to own it.

Carlynne Hershberger, CPSA said...

As a mother who lost a daughter to adoption in 1980 I resent the adoption tax credit. The majority of mothers losing their children are doing so because of financial pressure yet the government has no problem providing such a large credit to infertile people so they can raise other people's children. If those single mothers need temporary financial help they're regarded as "welfare queens" or just having having kids so they can collect a check. What's wrong with this picture? We have become so shallow and greedy in this country. All that seems to matter anymore is the almighty dollar. The bond between mother and child and the idea of family preservation has taken a backseat to who has the most in a bank account. There is always going to be someone richer. There is always going to be someone who has a bigger yard and better stuff. Should we all just shift our kids to the next richest person?

Susie Q said...

A dear birth mother friend of mine calls it the "mail-in rebate" for adoption.

I honestly didn't know about the credit until after we had applied to adopt, and I was surprised. I agree that the credit wouldn't even need to be there if there were no money exchanged at all. It's a child, a life, and should NOT be a purchase. Sadly, adoption is still an industry and someone (okay, some "ones") always gets paid.