06 Nov Fighting for the Adoption Tax Credit
ADOPTION TRIBE: WE NEED YOU!
The Adoption Tax Credit is currently in danger of being eliminated, and this is bad news for families like ours. When it’s all said and done, our adoption process will end up around $45,000.
For families like ours – where both spouses are in “helping professions” and gross [well] under $100k – this $13,000 credit is often the difference between being able to adopt and not being able to adopt. Adoption is already on the decline in many parts of the world (for good reason in some countries, and not-so-good reasons in others), and cost is one of the major barriers to families pursuing adoption, especially for the most-of-us who don’t have $45k lying around in a bank account.
Eliminating the Adoption Tax Credit, therefore, means kiddos just like Gideon stand even less of a chance at a forever family.
We’ll get more into this later, but let me just share a little bit about what happens in Korea when at-risk kiddos don’t find families. At three-years-old, children age out of foster care and are returned to an orphanage. Their file goes on a shelf, social workers quit advocating, and no one comes back.
No one comes back.
And Gideon is mere months away from aging out.
Many women in South Korea who find themselves in the same situation choose an abortion. But Giddy’s mom didn’t. She chose life, and we chose Gideon. If you, like us, call yourself a Pro-Lifer, that means you care about the life of ALL people. And that means not just the tiny lives inside the womb, but also the living, breathing people that enter the world after a mama chooses life too. Brian and I give every single month to organizations keeping families together in the first place, but adoption is still a very big part of being pro-life.
So what can you do? Please, please, PLEASE spend the 5 minutes to go to the Adoptive Families website (CLICK HERE) and send an email to your local representatives. We’ve included our letter below for inspiration, or there is a pre-filled stock message you can send directly from the site.
Don’t know your reps? That link above has you covered there too! Just type in your zip code, and the names of your reps will pop up on your screen. Not a letter writer? Then hop on the phone and call the office of your local representatives! Tell your story. Tell our story. Just tell them you care about the Adoption Tax Credit because you care about children like Gideon, children who otherwise wouldn’t have a forever family.
Dear Mr. Massie, Mr. McConnell, and Mr. Paul:
My name is Callie Troyer, and I am one of your constituents. I wanted to take a few moments today to urge you to save the Adoption Tax Credit. The recently unveiled tax reform legislation in the House would eliminate this credit, and I ask that you oppose eliminating the Adoption Tax Credit and fight to strengthen it in tax reform legislation.
My husband Brian and I are currently in the last steps of the legal process to finalize the adoption of our son, which will likely happen shortly after the first of the year. Gideon is a 22-month-old little boy with the biggest, most wonderful smile that makes his eyes disappear and the room light up! He eagerly explores the world around him, loves his O-ball, and frequently scrunches up his forehead when he’s deep in thought. He has been diagnosed with xxx and possible xxx, but that doesn’t slow him down or steal his joy. Before we said ‘yes’ to him, his chances of finding a forever family were running out. He had too many question marks on his file, was too old for what most families were looking for.
But we chose him, changed the dreams we had for what our family would look like, drained our savings and increased our HSA contributions to our insurance plan, all to make sure this precious little guy wouldn’t have to live his days without a family. All because we fell in love with a tiny boy with the biggest, most wonderful smile! When Gideon finally comes home, we will have spent around $45,000 pursuing his adoption, and we’ll still have half of that in adoption loans. My husband and I gross a combined $xx,000 per year, and we were counting on the roughly $13,000 in aid from the Adoption Tax Credit over the next few years to help us bear the financial burden, especially in light of Gideon’s special needs.
We both work 40-60 hours per week in “helping professions,” meaning we fall squarely in the middle class. We have slashed our own family budget in every way possible. We rarely eat out. We haven’t been to a movie in literally years. Even our vacation this summer was paid almost in full with credit card points we have saved over the past 2 years. The adoption credit means so much to our family and is truly the difference between providing future children a forever home and leaving them to age out of the system. Any thought of future adoption will not be possible without this credit, and we are certainly not alone in this reality.
See, the adoption credit may not mean a whole lot to a family who makes 2 or 3 times our income. It may not mean a whole lot to a significant percentage of the population. But it means the world to families like ours – families who work hard as nurses, therapists, firefighters, social workers, and teachers; who give freely of our time and money to support our community; who want more than anything the chance to be a mommy and daddy. We give so much of our time, energy, and budget pouring into our church, our community, and our state, and these are the families who will lose. We are the faces of the families affected by eliminating the Adoption Tax Credit. Gideon is the face of the children who won’t have forever homes because families like ours can’t afford to give them a chance at life.
We, as Republicans, cannot stand for our Pro-Life agenda without also standing for Pro-Adoption policies. We, as citizens of the United States, cannot pretend to stand for freedom or equality if we choose to ignore the most vulnerable members of our society and our world – our children without families. And we, as the families willing to give everything we have for these children, will not stand silent on this issue, because this is about more than us, or the future Troyer family, or our own budget. It’s about our precious Gideon, about the millions of other children without families, about the at-risk kiddos in foster care or institutions who have no other voice but ours. And as long as they have no voice, we will be that voice for them.
Thank you for your time and consideration of this issue.