I don’t know about you, but ever since January I have spent more time calling, writing, and emailing my Congressional Representatives than I have in my entire life; it seems like every week there is something I love on the chopping block. Just when I had settled into a healthcare/Federal appointee/Special Prosecutor calling routine I found out that there is talk of dissolving the Federal Adoption Tax Credit. Time to pull out the Bat Phone!
Since 1997 Americans have been able to receive a tax credit for adoption expenses (including some agency and attorney fees). The credit is available after finalization and is an enormous incentive and relief to adoptive parents. The credit applies to local, private, and international adoptions—basically all types other than stepparent—and even includes additional special needs incentives. According to the aptly titled website Save the Adoption Tax Credit Now! Despite the thousands of Americans who have used the tax credit, the bipartisan support it receives throughout the country (really, there is no downside to “make adoptions more affordable” on the campaign trail), and the fact that it was made permanent in 2013 some members of Congress (the House’s proposed budget) AND the President’s proposed budget are actually proposing eliminating the credit entirely.
Call your representatives. Email, fax, and write your leaders. Tell them about your desires to adopt, your adoption stories, and how you have used the credit, or how you need the credit in the future. Send a postcard with your cute forever family on the front. Tweet them, post a Facebook message, and deluge their office. (Once their staffers recognize your phone number it’s a whole new level of public participation, I tell you.) While you are at it, push to make the credit refundable and remind them that it was already made permanent. Here are some sample scripts you might consider:
“Hi! I’m calling because I am concerned that the President’s proposed budget is eliminating the adoption tax credit which was made permanent in 2013. My family and I need that credit to continue with the adoption of our daughter. Please tell the congresswoman that voting to eliminate this credit will ensure she does not receive my vote again.”
“Dear Congressman: In 2011 we were fortunate to be able to adopt a beautiful son and daughter. As you may know, adoption costs can be prohibitively expensive, and so we were thrilled to be able to take advantage of the refundable adoption tax credit. It is with dismay that I see that the House Majority’s “Better Way” budget plan eliminates this tax completely. Please vote against any plan eliminating the adoption tax credit.”
However you phrase it, let’s get the message out there!