The Adoption Tax Credit Survives

Andrea and I were fortunate to be invited as guests by then President Bill Clinton to the White House to witness the first signing of the Adoption Tax Credit bill in August, 1997. Since then, it has had its ups and downs, and was set to go out of existence at the end of 2012. However, as Congress debated whether to let the economy go over the fiscal cliff, cooler heads prevailed and the adoption tax credit was made permanent, effective January2, 2013, as part of the Affordable Care Act.

The adoption tax credit is available to adoptive parents in the year that the adoption becomes final, and is reimbursement for qualified adoption expenses. These include reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees, agency fees, traveling expenses (including amounts spent for food and lodging while away from home), and for any expenses directly related to the principal purpose of the legal adoption of the eligible child. An eligible child is a child under the age of 18 years old, or be physically or mentally incapable of himself or herself. If you adopt a special needs child, you are able to claim the entire credit, even if your expenses do not meet or exceed the threshold. Further, you will not need to document actual expenses for a special needs child. Continue reading

What Is An Open Adoption?

Adoption Plan: Open AdoptionYears ago, most adoptions in the US were considered closed adoptions, which means no identifying information was exchanged between the biological parents and the adoptive family. Only agencies and the courts retained the personal records. Fortunately, over time and especially in the last few years, adoption has evolved and open adoptions are now the norm. These days, in 99% of adoptions through ANA, everyone meets each other; names, phone numbers and email addresses are shared. It is only a closed adoption if this is what the birthmother requests and, again, that is very rare! Continue reading