Yesterday’s release of the Republican’s “Tax Cuts and Job Act” fulfills a long-anticipated campaign promise dating back to 2016. At 429 pages, the proposed legislation is still being carefully reviewed and assessed, but we’ve learned enough about it to offer an initial reaction.
First, I’m grateful for tax reform and tax cuts for the middle class. In the current proposal, the Child Tax Credit will go to $1600 from $1000, plus an additional $300 credit for each parent and non-child dependent. This is a very good thing. As most families know, it isn’t easy to make ends meet. From paying the rent or mortgage to braces and the weekly trip to the grocery store, raising children requires careful budgeting.
I’m encouraged to learn that under the proposed legislation, the House Ways and Means Committee says a typical middle-income family of four earning $59,000 (the median household income in America) will receive a tax cut under this bill of about $1,182.
At the same time, I’m deeply concerned to learn that the current bill eliminates the adoption tax credit. We shouldn’t be placing the burden of these tax cuts on orphan children. The credit, which has been in place for 20 years, serves both domestic and intercountry adoptions. The GOP plan is described as a tax cut for the middle class: more than 60 percent of adopted children in the U.S. are adopted by middle- and lower-income taxpayers
Almost one-half of children adopted from foster care live in families with household incomes under $75,000. Even at a purely financial level, retaining the adoption tax credit will help save taxpayer dollars by reducing government spending.
One report found that government saves up to $127,000 for each child who is adopted rather than placed in long-term foster care. Children who are adopted are less likely as they grow older to be delinquent or arrested or become teen parents and more likely to be employed.
Please know that we have been reaching out to members in both the House of Representatives and the Senate to express our point of view. So far, the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. Several members we spoke with strongly share our view.
The Adoption Tax Credit is a positive government policy that helps facilitate adoption and provide forever homes for orphans. Eliminating it is unacceptable. We can do better as a nation.
For more information on what you can do, please contact our friends at the Adoption Coalition.