Feds Target Adoption Tax Credit

Q: Will adoptive parents lose the federal tax credit?

Most people think of divorce and the breaking up of a family when they think of a family law attorney. However, many family lawyers also help build families through traditional adoption or step-parent adoption.

Phoenix adoption attorneys are closely following the details surrounding the long-awaited proposals to overhaul the tax code.

On the chopping block is the federal adoption tax credit. And this has infertility care and adoption advocates, conservatives, and many religious groups taking up the fight.

The federal adoption tax credit is “a one-time tax refund available for parents to adopt from foster care, internationally or through private domestic adoptions.”  The credit, which can be applied over a five-year period, helps families offset the generally high price of adoption, which through a private agency can cost in the neighborhood of $40,000. This year, the federal adoption tax credit is $13,570.

Critics of eliminating the tax credit claim it will make it more difficult and more expensive to adopt children and may impact adoption of older or special needs children who have historically been harder to place in adoptive homes because of the challenges and added costs that often accompany those placements. In addition, conservatives and religious groups see the adoption tax credit as being closely tied to a “pro-life” position and don’t want to see it eliminated.

Supporters of eliminating the federal adoption tax credit say it is a “tough call” but that something has to give. So, sacrificing a provision some people would “use once in a lifetime” in favor of other provisions that lower rates on things which benefit more people on “a daily basis throughout their lives” is a better alternative. Some examples given included medical expenses and student loans.

The ultimate fate of the federal adoption tax credit remains to be seen as the debate continues on Capitol Hill.

If you have any questions about adoption, stepparent adoption, or any family law matters, Cohen Family Law is here to help.

Contact us today for a free consultation. From our offices in Phoenix, we’ve been representing families in transition throughout Arizona since 1982.