Adoption benefits and the new health care legislation

I just learned about a bright spot on the new Obama health care legislation.  I am a trifle confused about adoption benefits being added into a health care law, but am pleased that this may make adoption more affordable to more families.  Here are the details, as provided by the Christian Alliance for Orphans.


To encourage and support adoption, the adoption tax credit was expanded by President Bush and Congress in 2001. This increased the value of the credit from $5,000 to $10,000, and indexed it for inflation (meaning the credit would increase each year to keep up with inflation.) For 2010, its value had risen to $12,170. However, the 2001 increase was scheduled to “sunset” at the end of 2010. This would mean that any adoptions finalized after December 31, 2010 would be eligible for—at most—a credit of only $5,000.

This sunset has now been extended one year. That means that it will need to be extended again before the end of 2011. For the present, however, this extension comes as very welcome news for families considering adoption or in the adoption process.

Specifically, the provisions contained in Obama’s health care legislation include:

The current adoption tax credit has been extended until the end of 2011;
The value of the adoption tax credit has been increased from $12,170 to $13,170.
The increase is “retroactive,” meaning that any adoption occurring after January 1, 2010 is eligible for this higher credit.
The credit is now refundable. This means that even families that owe zero taxes can receive the full tax credit in the form of a tax refund to help with their adoption-related expenses.


Details in this pdf  (page 903 of 906)

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  1. That is good news! You’ve made me curious now… I’ll have to look and see if our provincial or federal government has any similar program in place.

  2. Whew! I was wondering what was going to happen at the end of 2010. We are in the process of adoption.

  3. While my heart is singing for families that have chosen to step out in faith to adopt, I’m still so frustrated by the healthcare bill.

    I have to say, the new tax credit will be so helpful for us in 2011! *wink, wink* The call of the orphan is *SO* strong in our house so we will be looking for adoption #2 around that time. (Adoption #2, but child #5! EEKS! I’m so excited!)

  4. While this is fabulous for adoptive families (including us), I can’t help but think we’d be better off keeping our tax dollars EVERY year and spending them as we see fit. If a man robs me of my shoes then decides to give one back, should I fall on my knees in gratitude? I’m grateful for the increase, don’t get me wrong, it just seems like another example of the government becoming a “nanny state” and deciding who gets what money and why. It isn’t just. (By the way- if we stopped collecing income tax tomorrow, we could still support the 2001 federal budget with other tax/tariff revenue. Food for thought…) Thanks for the good information!

  5. Oh good! We are in the beginning of an adoption and were trying to figure out how the credit worked and if it would help us. I also wanted to thank you for linking to a post on Room For More last month. It was that link that lead me over there and it’s where I first saw the bio for ‘Grace,’ the little girl we are trying to adopt. Thank you!