As the year winds down and congress is working on avoiding the “fiscal cliff”  The adoption tax credit is in real jeopardy of being eliminated.  While the tax credit is by no means our reason for adopting, nor will we change our plans to adopt if it is eliminated, I do believe that it makes a difference for many families if they will be able to adopt or not, especially if they are considering special needs or sibling adoption. For us, the tax credit means we won’t have to stress out about medical co-pays and some of the travel and other expenses that will be associated with adopting a child with special medical needs that will involve surgeries and appointments at University of Iowa Hospitals. For other families, it will mean they can adapt their home for a larger family, add a biological sibling to their family instead of splitting them, purchase items needed, and/or help finance the adoption itself.

How can you make a difference?  Take a few minutes to send an e-mail or call your Senators and Representative.  You can find their contact information and fill out a form to send at e-mail through the following links:



When contacting your Senators, reference the Making Adoption Affordable Act – S.3616

When contacting your Representative, reference the Making Adoption Affordable Act – H.R.4373

Below is my letter that was sent to our Senators. (Yes, I changed the name for Senator Grassley.) Please feel free to adapt it to your own use. I’ve decided to not to a fill in the blank version, however, I will not be hurt if you copy and adapt the personal information to fit your connection to adoption. I do ask that if you do share  with others (with minimal changes) via e-mail or social media,  to please link back to this blog post.

Thank you for taking the time to do this!


Dear Senator Harkin:

I am a constituent and I am asking you to cosponsor the Making Adoptions Affordable Act – S.3616. The adoption tax credit ensures that vulnerable children find loving homes and do not spend their lives in orphanages or foster care. The refundable provision of this Act is very important so that families with lower and moderate incomes, who may not owe as much in taxes, will not benefit from a traditional tax credit. In some cases, this means the families may not be able to adopt at all. Families use this tax credit to cover home improvements needed to accommodate additional or special needs children, cover adoption expenses, and for continued medical and educational services needed following adoption. It is especially crucial to those not only willing, but eager to add sibling groups, and/or children to their families with medical needs. Research (Mary Eschelbach Hansen, American University) has shown that each adoption from foster care can save up to $235,000 in total public costs (including a reduction of special education services needed and reduced crime).

My husband and I are hoping to add a child to our family through adoption in 2013. The tax credit will will be invaluable in assisting with the expenses in adopting a child with special needs that will need continued medical attention and surgeries. Because of this – and the over 100,000 youth in foster care in the US and the millions of children worldwide who need a family of their own – we are asking you to cosponsor S.3616.

Thank You,

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