In 1997 the federal government established a tax credit to make adoption more affordable, making it possible for more couples to provide children with loving, permanent homes. We believe that one direct result of the introduction of the adoption tax credit is an increase in the number of children adopted internationally. From 1990 to 1996, a total of 59,339 adoptions were finalized in the U.S., an average of 8,477 per year. From 1997 to 2011, after the inception of the adoption tax credit, a total of 263,138 adoptions were finalized, an average of 17,543 per year.
As an organization dedicated to protecting and enhancing the lives of children and families, Bethany Christian Services is thrilled with the substantial increase in adoptions. Of course, we realize that a number of factors beyond the introduction of the adoption tax credit are responsible. However, helping thousands of American families offset the high cost of international adoption has certainly contributed significantly.
Given the positive impact the adoption tax credit has had since its introduction, we are extremely concerned that the tax credit is set to expire at the end of 2012. Without the tax credit, many families hoping to adopt will be unable to do so, leaving thousands of vulnerable children without a permanent family to provide the love and nurturing they desperately require.
Fortunately, bills have been introduced in both the House (HR 4373) and the Senate (S 3616) that would essentially extend the adoption tax credit. With 153 million orphans around the world, the need is great. We strongly encourage readers of this blog to contact their local representative and senators to ask them to support these crucial bills.
Adoption is not the sole solution for uniting children in crisis with loving families, as tremendous progress is being made in countries across the globe to address the orphan crisis. In places like China, Ethiopia, and Ghana, governments are working to create sustainable family preservation services in hopes of keeping children in families. Bethany is working with them to develop a network of foster care families that will enable children to stay within their home country. However, even with such remarkable progress, adoption is still a crucial element in combating the world’s orphan crisis. This is why it is imperative that the adoption tax credit be continued.
For more information on adoption and the adoption tax credit, please contact Bethany Christian Services. Visit www.bethany.org to find the Bethany office nearest you.