Is the Adoption Tax Credit Hurting Our Kids?
Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy gives her arguments about how the Adoption Tax Credit is hurting our children.

I distrust living in a bubble. It might feel cozy and safe inside, but in reality it’s anything but. There is a real world outside, and the real world is full of sharp objects, just waiting to burst our safe little bubble intentionally or unintentionally. It’s also limiting and leads to smugness. I hate smugness. It is surprisingly hard at times for me to recognize when I’ve insulated myself from radically different opinions. Fortunately, I can rely on the Creating a Family community to remind me. Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy, a birthmom who blogs over at Musings of the Lame, commented on my recent blog What’s Up with the Adoption Tax Credit & What You Can Do {CRUNCH TIME is here} that the adoption tax credit hurts the very children it was originally intended to help. She lays out her position more fully in her blog What’s Wrong With the Adoption Tax Credit? I think it is crucial for those of us who support the adoption tax credit to understand the position of those who don’t. She raises points worth thinking about.

While the original adoption tax credit was created to benefit the adoptions of special needs children, successful lobbying from adoptive parents and the adoption lobbyists have increased the credit by both the amount refunded and the range of adoptions covered. Proponents of the Adoption Tax Credit claim that the credit /refund is set up to help make “adoption a financially viable option for many parents who might not otherwise have been able to afford adoption, allowing them to provide children with loving, permanent families”[1]  Yet, the modified adjusted gross income cut off for the current Adoption Tax Credit is $225,210 or more.[2]  The poor improvised adoptive parents are warned that if their modified adjusted gross income is above $185,210, then they might not be eligible for the full credit. I don’t know about you,  but $185,210 is hardly an amount that screams poverty or in need of financial assistance to me. I’m sorry, but if you can’t afford the crazy adoption fees or need to have a bake sale to afford your adoption, then DO NOT ADOPT. Or adopt through FOSTER CARE as those children REALLY NEED HOMES ( acknowledgement that CPS are also corrupt) As we know that many domestic infant adoptions are “chosen” in these times due to the financial constraints of the expectant families. Many mothers look to adoption to help them pay for their medical and living expenses while they cannot work due to pregnancy. They also look to adoption to provide financial stability for their child.  These are mothers who when asked “If you won Lotto tomorrow would you still consider placing your child for adoption?” say “NO!”. These are mothers who are not having unwanted children, or children that are in any danger from abuse or neglect, but rather their mothers fear the doom of impending poverty and see financial assistance as induction to the stereotypical “Welfare Momma” for life.  These are mothers who would parent their children especially if they had a guaranteed windfall of over 12,000 at the end of the tax year. The same 12K could go towards medical bills or baby supplies or just living expenses while a new mother stayed home with her child. … By making “adoption more affordable” to people who make over 100K a year anyway, we are increasing the demand of adoptable children in the US and providing more incentives for the adoption agencies to identify at risk families that they can separate from their children for their own profits. Let us remember that the adoption industry is over a 5.8 billion dollar annual industry. Historically, as the adoption tax credit went up, so does the adoption fees. In other words, the US government subsidizes the adoption industry this way through the Adoption Tax Credit. In addition, by giving added incentives for adoptive parents to spend more money on adoption, they will look towards international or domestic adoptions more. This will actually HURT the children that MIGHT benefit most from being adopted, the children living in foster care. Of course, foster adoptions often are the lowest cost and with other subsidies, often practically free. So don’t go telling me that we “need the Adoption Tax Credits to help all the unwanted children”. It hurts them. … It’s “push BACK time” people. Please ask your Senators and Representative understand that HR 4373 and S 3616 are exploitative and used to SEPARATE FAMILIES by ADOPTION. They need to  understand that giving tax payer money to adoptive families rather than assistance to mothers is unethical and wrong.  If the proposed Adoption Tax Credit Bills do NOT get passed, then ONLY Special Needs Adoptions will be eligible. I have NO issue with that!

I want us to first listen—really listen—without judgment to these thoughts, so I’ll keep my editorializing to a minimum. I do question whether a single one time tax credit of $12,000 would sway the majority of woman (and men) who make the decision to place their children. I know Claudia is probably better connected than I am with the birthmom community, but although finances are a consideration for most of the women I’ve spoken with, it is just one of many considerations that lead them to decide that they are not in the best position to parent their child for the long term. I do, however, hear her bigger point that we, as a society, promote specific choices through tax incentives, and what we promote is telling. I’d love to have a respectful discussion of her points. What do you think?


Image credit: BC Gov Photos