Adopting a child can be tremendously costly because of numerous legal issues which must be navigated in addition to collateral expenses. A complicated adoption may require a ‘contested’ termination proceeding (severance) that requires experts and an exhausting trial. Fifteen years ago, the U.S. tax code was modified to include an ‘adoption tax credit’ in the amount of $12,650 to help families absorb the costs of an adoption.
The credit will expire at the end of 2012 for all adoptions except those of foster children with special needs, leading many to call for renewal of the credit. The adoption tax credit is one of several mechanisms intended to help close the gap between children who need homes and prospective parents who can afford to raise a child, but cannot afford frontloaded legal expenses.
Some still question the tax credit. Critics have complained that the tax credit helps to fuel the foreign adoption market (which has historically been a hotbed for exploitation).
To learn more about the perils of limited disclosure in foreign adoption, read the article here.
All agree that foster children need good homes, and there are many people who are willing but unable to provide them because the costs are so high. Whether a tax credit or some other method is the best way to connect those people with children who need homes, creative solutions are needed to reach the goal of leaving no child without the care they need.