Adoption Tax Credit – really tired of hearing about it

13 Jun
We all know how much us adoptees cost but honestly the cyber world is driving me absolutely nuts on the sheer volume of posts about where is my refund…
The money gives me the creeps to start with as it makes us into commodities but then expecting to get money back on taxes for adopting just makes it worse – kind of like a mail in rebate. 
Do they have this type of tax credit for mothers who parent?

Posted by on June 13, 2011 in Uncategorized


18 responses to “Adoption Tax Credit – really tired of hearing about it

  1. graceling

    June 13, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    From a purely financial aspect, the government comes out ahead when a child is adopted and the parents receive a tax credit than when the gov’t is required to provide for the child through the foster care system, health benefits, etc. Whether that makes the credit right or wrong, I’m not saying…. just that I understand the reason why this “makes sense” financially. And we have to keep in mind that the government is basically self-serving and their goal is to keep as much money in their system, at their disposal, and into their own pockets.


    • The adopted ones

      June 14, 2011 at 12:46 pm

      Gracelings I would agree with you in cases of foster care adoptions with the caveat that it should be reimbursed expenses only, but your argument falls flat with a portion of domestic adoptions and all international adoptions.


  2. Dannie

    June 14, 2011 at 3:26 am

    a few thoughts:
    1. Tax credit for parents (who parent) isn’t done in one lump sum like the adoption tax credit….there are some breaks or some credits for being “head of household” (as I am as a single parent) with a ‘dependent’ (either less taxes given to the gov’t which gives you a bigger net paycheck, or a decent refund if you keep yourself as single with no dependents for the paycheck purposes and then do taxes as head of household), there are credits for daycare expenses, medical sometimes (depending on type of expenses)
    2. there are always weird tax credit/incentives/first time refunds to claim….although usually it has to do with material things so yeah I completely get the “ew” factor which is why I didn’t think about it when my dad prepared my taxes
    3. The entitlement “where’s my refund” gets old, yet what I really have a hard time reading is the “I’m losing my house and I can’t take that vacation to the ‘cayman islands’ or wherever….if I don’t get my refund”…….I really don’t get that… refunds should never be budgeted items…..I view them as a happy surprise…some years it’s thin, nowadays it’s pretty nice for a mini-vacation or just to enjoy a summer off without being so tight-wad mostly due to being a homeowner….and this year I had forgotton to change my status from single and no dependents to ‘head of household with dependent’ so that’s an added bonus…..yeah my ATC is held up….oh well….if/when I receive it, it goes into the tuition fund for my daughter’s schooling….no fancy vacations over here.


    • The adopted ones

      June 14, 2011 at 12:50 pm

      Dannie I pretty much agree with you but if you also get the same parent deductions part then it should perhaps have also applied to for instance single parents with a new baby?


      • Dannie

        June 14, 2011 at 3:49 pm

        probably…..I don’t know why the gov’t makes random refunds every so often….(house, adoption, stuff to do with cars etc.) and it’s usually not the same every year. The reason so much hulabaloo this year is because the credit is refundable….not just a credit….which would do something with your income and yes you get a refund but nothing like what they did this year…..same as when I bought my house….the year I bought it, there was a first time homebuyer’s credit….just added to the overall taxes, the next year or the following year the first time homebuyer’s credit was 8K fully refundable…..I heard many people defrauded at that time and that’s why the IRS is doing examinations on anyone claiming it…..most people aren’t willing to understand that.


  3. Susie

    June 14, 2011 at 3:32 am

    The idea that the adoption tax credit is less costly than a single mother receiving public assistance is a myth. Of the single mothers/poor families raising their children who do qualify for assistance, the average length of time they are on public assistance ranges from 10-18 months depending on the state they live in. The tax credit is in fact more costly than the temporary public assistance.

    In my opinion, my taxes SHOULD be going towards helping a family in need of temporary help. My taxes should NOT be going to a family that is making more money than I am, and may not even need the tax credit, nor should my taxes pay for a family to adopt unless adopting a child from foster care only ~ NOT domestic infant adoption.

    Some more statistics regarding single mothers:
    79.5% of custodial single mothers are gainfully employed: 49.8% work full time, year round, 29.7% work part-time or part-year.

    She and Her Children Do Not Live in Poverty ~ <27% of custodial single mothers and their children live in poverty.

    She Does Not Receive Public Assistance:
    Among custodial single mothers 22% receive Medicaid, 23.5% receive food stamps, 12% receive some form of public housing or rent subsidy, 5% receive receive TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)

    She is 40 Years Old or Older: 39.1% of custodial single mothers are 40 years old or older

    She is Raising One Child: 54% of custodial mothers are raising one child from the absent parent

    United States. Census Department. Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2007. By Timothy S. Grall. Census, 2009. 26 Feb. 2010 [].


    • The adopted ones

      June 14, 2011 at 12:55 pm

      Susie – I agree with you as well and think there should have been something comparable like I noted in the reply to Dannie.

      Overall – I think they made a mistake making refundable vs credits based on taxes paid like they have in the past. THAT made the feeling of a mail in rebate coupon.


      • Dannie

        June 14, 2011 at 3:50 pm

        it should have just been a credit, I agree….same as the housing refund/credit that made a mess.


    • gracelings

      June 23, 2011 at 2:24 am

      While I am not arguing with the statistics, I can say this:

      I lived off public assistance as a single mom while I went to nursing school (roughly 20 months.) My daughter and I received Medicaid, food stamps, housing assistance, day care subsidy, college tuition assistance/grants/subsidy (state and federal benefits) and short-term TANF… and even with all that assistance, I came out of nursing school with thousands and thousands of dollars in credit card debt (no idea how I would have managed without the credit card!) When you add up the benefits my daughter and I received during that 20 month period, it is more than double the dollar amount of an average adoption (perhaps this is based on location, as I was living in a very expensive area and was living at/below the poverty line based on my income.)

      The amount of assistance I received while I went to nursing school is more than quintuple the amount of the adoption tax credit.

      When I later adopted as a single mother (internationally), the credit was non-refundable. But because of my income, HOH status, 2 dependents, etc… the credit made no difference in my tax return- I already didn’t owe taxes and was getting a refund, etc… It did change when I got married and our household income increased- our refund that year was bigger because of the credit off-setting our taxes owed. But again, that was with my husband and I both working 2 jobs- If we had only been working 1 job each, it probably wouldn’t have changed our refund.

      If we were to adopt again, we would not qualify for any portion of the credit because of our household income. And the credit switches back to non-refundable for 2012, and decreases then, too. Then is projected to cut back to $5k/$6K for special needs in 2013.


      • The adopted ones

        June 23, 2011 at 1:23 pm

        Gracelings – I am okay with the credit aspect I just don’t like the refund aspect tied to adoption, just sticks in my craw…it brings out the greed side of people and most don’t stop and remember how some kids are – if there is something they aren’t supposed to know it makes it desirable to know…their on-line rants may come back to haunt them.

        This is the search term that showed up yesterday: “Where the hell is my adoption tax credit”. Every single forum on adoption seems to have multiple threads about the credit that are pages long…it makes adoption into a money thing and that sucks.

        Thanks for sticking around as all sides need to be shown to create a balanced picture.


  4. Amanda

    June 14, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Yes, the adoption tax credits are more costly that providing temporary assistance.

    It is all about class and the perceived class of an “unwed mother” (different than a “single mother” as far as society is concerned) and that of someone who can afford to not only parent but adopt as well, and who, therefore, is more “deserving” of receiving support.

    I am so tired of hearing about how much it costs to adopt and how it should be cheaper too. Adoption should be free because money exchanging hands in adoption is downright unethical. But I think too many people whine about the cost of adoption, instead, because of their pocketbooks–and not because of ethics.


    • The adopted ones

      June 14, 2011 at 6:46 pm

      Ethics matter most…but you are right it is the pocket book. I just do not understand how a tax credit designed and implemented to help kids stuck in foster care could end up changing to this degree…wait I know the answer – the adoption industry lobby machine so prices could be jacked up higher and higher and higher – more profit yay…no we aren’t commodities at all. Apparently I am in “a mood”.


  5. Beth

    June 16, 2011 at 2:33 am

    They amount of traffic threads about this credit get does get to me, let alone the credit itself.
    I’d much rather see a credit given to increase purchases of homes right now, than one given to increase adoptions.
    A deduction is one thing, a credit is a whole new ballgame. It’s almost like a hero rescuer reward payment to me. ack.
    I dunno, is there a lack of people planning/wanting to adopt? Is that a big problem for the country right now? Do parents who relinquish children get a credit? Is that what they are really seeking to increase, relinquishments? I always thought that’s what credits and deductions were for, to increase something, like the purchase of energy efficient appliances and cars, etc., saving timber near waterways from harvest, investments in health care savings accounts… And if you need this sort of credit to adopt your average newborn (which many seem to need very much) um, need I say more?! I really don’t feel like I as a taxpayer need to give any credit for an adoption, unless it is a difficult to place kind of adoption.
    Wouldn’t reducing the cost of adoptions thru gov’t regulation SAVE us ALL money?
    Anyone know how much our government pays, err our collective tax dollars donate just to advertise adoption? Plus our monies social service agencies get for a successful completed adoption? (they don’t get one for a successful reunification, argg, if we are giving out bonuses, a job well done regardless of the outcome deserves a bonus imo)
    I always wonder what it would look like if we were rid of all that, split it up equally and gave every child in the country an equal annual credit no matter who they live with. I just imagine how many more would get to go to college or buy a business or a home when they come of age.
    Did I mention I hate our tax system altogether? LOL refund? wth is that really? To me it means I paid too much estimated tax over the year, money I could have invested wisely or donated during the year. IRS = MOB to me. They are obviously against small businesses, that’s for sure. I keep hearing create jobs, blah blah blah, what a sack of hooey! I’d call it create a larger liability, expense, and tax payment for yourself, dummy LOL not to mention the grey hair and sleepless nights.
    I get confused when thinking that the gov’t (we) comes out ahead due to not having to pay medical and other services etc. I know several families that have adopted and they are still collecting these services, I don’t get it at all.

    Just thinking that even one of my hard earned dollars goes towards this credit to someone, and I am still not permitted to even know my mother’s name, ticks me off beyond words.


    • The adopted ones

      June 16, 2011 at 12:28 pm

      Welcome Beth – your comments should post automatically now…

      The ATC was originally intended for adoptions of legally free children from foster care and was a credit – unfortunately the industry got that changed for all adoptions. This year they changed it to refund. Hundreds of Millions of dollars are due to be refunded.


  6. Beth

    June 16, 2011 at 6:29 am

    Huh, I am wondering if this is a way the gov’t could get info on all/most adoptions now all in one place, to track or count them or whatever. I can only imagine nearly everyone would file for the credit.


  7. AdoptedAP

    June 17, 2011 at 4:10 am

    Don’t even get me started on this one! I can’t take hearing about it anymore. All I am hearing is “where’s my refund”, “they want more documentation”, “I didn’t keep all of the receipts”, “still waiting…I want my money”. I love the sense of entitlement. What gets me even more is that this change came out of the health care bill (which I am for because I am a flaming liberal). Most people grumbling in said statements above were completely against health care reform because their “moral compass” (????!!!) makes them not like things proposed by “liberals”. So because people we able to carry their adoption credit forward for 5 years many are just getting an out of the blue HUGE payday because of this change. So they are bitching about not getting their free, unexpected money from a President they hate in a timely fashion. I might blow a gasket on FB 🙂 I was also completely offended by the agency that used the password “taxcredit” to view their photolisted children. Stay classy!


    • The adopted ones

      June 17, 2011 at 12:17 pm

      “completely against health care reform because their “moral compass” (????!!!) ”

      I am with you on the question marks – my moral compass says ALL should have health care because it is the right thing to do…being a transplanted American to Canada and all…

      I had forgot that is where the change came in…too funny.


  8. Raven

    June 18, 2011 at 6:24 am

    I have to admit that I’ve been chuckling at all the forum posts about the audits and examinations of tax returns and documentation this year. My lord, I saw someone the other day who is expecting a $52,000 refund this year after adopting a sibling group out of foster care. That is a LOT of money.

    Do away with the adoption tax credit, I say, especially in cases of domestic infant adoption. Why should our society be giving away free money to adoptive parents anyway when they let impoverished mothers just languish and rot away?



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