In a confusing move, House Republicans defeated an amendment to restore the adoption tax credit as part of their tax reform platform. Leading conservatives in the House as well as pro life groups such as National Right to Life supported the amendment and have expressed their disappointment that the amendment restoring the adoption tax credit was not added as part of the GOP tax reform plan.
Other Republicans have stated that the adoption tax credit was not able to be widely utilized by middle class families and while a nice idea, impractical because it only benefited families with higher than average income. Others pointed out that the tax reform platform will save taxpayers more money without the adoption tax credit. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady said that he would encourage the committee to vote against the credit. According to the Hill, Brady (himself an adoptive father of two) said:
“I’ve always worried about the current credit because it helps many who are of a certain income level and who qualify. I worry about those families who are modest income, who don’t itemize [deductions]. I worry the current credit leaves too many Americans behind.”
Adoption is a wonderful option available for families who desire the gift of children. It is also a wonderful alternative to be able to present to a woman faced with an unexpected pregnancy but who wants options other than abortion. Unfortunately, adoption is often an expensive process, with costs associated sometimes equaling as much as $40,000 or more.
Families considering adoption should be encouraged to adopt and providing relief to them is an encouraging incentive to move forward with the process. In contrast, removing the tax credit will do the opposite, discouraging families from adopting who would perhaps otherwise be considering the process.
The move by Republicans is all the more confusing considering the fact that Donald Trump proclaimed November as National Adoption Month. In the Proclamation, President Trump Proclaimed:
My Administration recognizes the profound importance of adoption for the American family. Adoption is a life-changing and life-affirming act that signals that no child in America — born or unborn — is unwanted or unloved. Adoptive parents are a selfless and loving part of God’s plan for their future children. As a Nation, we extend sincere appreciation and gratitude to those families who have welcomed a young person into their hearts and homes, sharing the precious gift of family and a lifetime of support.
According to the Hill, Representative Trent Franks expressed his disappointment that the credit was removed. “We don’t want to be a caucus that funds Planned Parenthood and does away with the adoption tax credit after saying ‘adoption not abortion.”