Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) joined a Dubuque family today to praise the inclusion of a permanent extension of the adoption tax credit in the American Taxpayer Relief Act signed into law by President Obama last week. Without Congressional action, the tax credit would have expired on December 31st, 2012.
Since introducing the Making Adoption Affordable Act in April 2012, which attracted 40 bipartisan cosponsors, Braley has led the charge in the US House for a permanent extension of the tax credit.
Braley visited the home of Mike and Sara Wiedemann this morning. The Weidemanns adopted their son Nic last November and will be claiming the adoption tax credit on their 2012 federal tax returns.
"Deciding to adopt a child is one of the most caring decisions a couple can make," Braley said. "Unfortunately, it's a decision that also carries significant financial costs with it. This can be a barrier for many couples.
"Permanently extending the adoption tax credit will help more families adopt a child, getting more children into loving homes and out of the costly foster care system. When a policy helps both kids and taxpayers, it's a no-brainer. I'm glad to see that this tax credit will continue helping families like the Wiedemanns."
The American Taxpayer Relief Act, which allowed the US Government to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff", included the renewal of a number of tax credit provisions. A permanent extension of the adoption tax credit, indexed to inflation, was among them. For tax year 2012, the credit is worth $12,360 per adoption.
The federal government partners with states to care for orphaned children. Adoption is preferable to foster care not only because it results in better outcomes for children, but because it is far less costly for taxpayers. As of 2010, foster care costs to taxpayers averaged $47,000 per child, per year.
The adoption tax credit is a proven incentive to promote adoptions. Before its last expansion in 1998, the tax credit was claimed after only 50,400 adoptions. After expansion, in 2004, the tax credit was claimed in nearly 87,000 adoptions, representing a nearly 50 percent increase.