Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Adoption Tax Credit.

WARNING!  *I am about to offend a lot of people.*  Which is nothing new, I guess...

I just caught this tweet about the Adoption Tax Credit (ATC) and it being in danger of going away.  The tweet links to an article here.

Here is the thing, and my thoughts have changed on this a bit as I've begun looking at it from various perspectives, the ATC should not be in the business of providing children for infertile couples.  Yes, infertility is awful and painful, but it is not the job of our government to subsidize it's citizens familial longings.  It just isn't.  And this is coming from a pretty left-leaning-liberal-adoptive-mother.

The original intent of the ATC was "...to encourage further the adoption of special needs children…."  In addition, the 1997 law sought to "remove the barriers to inter-ethnic adoption".

Recent studies have shown that the original intent of the ATC has not been achieved.  The credit has mainly supported "higher income" families and those adopting internationally. (http://www.nacac.org/adoptalk/adoptiontaxcredit.html) It is not doing what it is meant to do. 

Now don't get me wrong, we benefited from this program, I share that openly.  But I don't see how it is helping place children who actually need a home, like whose parents rights have been terminated or their parents are dead?  Or children with special needs or are "harder to place"? 

Thoughts?  Am I just a heartless biotch?  Wait, don't answer that... ;-)

9 comments:

rico said...
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JM said...

I'm so sorry, I didn't realize that us infertile couples only adopted children that didn't REALLY need to be adopted. I mean, I'm sure that most IF couples force women to go get pregnant so that they can adopt the children out from under them. Heck, why don't all the infertiles of the world poke holes in condemns just so there are more babies for us?

Isn't ANY child that is adopted one that "actually needs a home?" Where is that line drawn? And whose place is it to draw?

..... said...

I think you missed the point JM. The point is that the credit was designed to help with the cost of hard to place children - those with special needs, those in foster care, etc. Not to pay for the adoption of healthy infants who will have no problem finding a family willing to adopt them. Ifs its a white infant - that baby will have 100 families lined up. That baby isn't IN NEED the same way a child with special needs is... or a child of a minority race who they are having a hard time finding families for. Its not that ALL IF couples only want a nice healthy baby - but many do - and the ATC wasn't designed for that... infertile couple or not.

LeeJo said...

There are hundreds of thousands of children in the U.S. waiting for homes. These children are the people intended to benefit from the ATC. Infertility sucks, but adoption doesn't fix it, and there are far more couples waiting to adopt infants than there are infants availible, so in infant adoption the ATC benefits parents. It is (should be) all about the children, and the children who need the ATC are by and large, not being adopted by couples with infertility.

Mathematical Mama said...

This is a heart wrenching reminder to me. The ATC should be a credit to help families who have opened their homes and hearts and lives to love children who are medically fragile or hard to place (out of foster care). If the ATC is going to continue to be used to benefit those infertile women adopting healthy newborns, then we mayaswell extend the credit to all women/families who had to pay any expenses for the birth/care of their children

Jess said...

I just found your blog. This is an interesting post. I didn't realize others shared my same view. I adopted from the foster care system, 3 special needs children. I found out about the credit from friend who adopted over seas. While I still think that those children need families too, I do believe the credit was created to encourage the placement of my kids.

I read somewhere a statistic that said that only 17% of the credits that are claimed are from special needs or minority kids from the foster care system.

ROBYN Chittister said...

I think adoption should be tax deductible, just like being pregnant and birthing a child is.

The last time the ATC was passed, it was passed as part of health care reform. Although the ATC may have begun as a way to encourage special needs adoption, there are many, many people who could not afford to adopt without it. (Of course, one of the reasons why could be that agencies conveniently up their fees to match what the tax credit provides, but still...)

If people who have babies biologically can claim their medical expenses as tax deductions, families who adopt should be able to do the same. Until then, I will have to settle for the ATC.

I should also add: If a family adopts from the state, then usually, they receive a subsidy for the child's life. In some cases, simply being a different race (usually black) can qualify as "special needs." Meanwhile, if a family adopts a special needs infant privately - such as an infant with Down's Sydrome - they are often denied the entire ATC because they didn't adopt through the state and therefore, their child is not eligible for a subsidy, so the IRS declares that the child was not labeled "special needs" by the state.

Geoff Granfield said...
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Geoff Granfield said...

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