Adoption Update

The most up-to-date adoption news

Adoption Tax Credit 2012

Please help us save the adoption tax credit for 2012 – 2013. For many families the cost of an expensive adoption is what keeps them from bringing home a child – this tax credit helps alleviate some of the cost, but in 2012 it starts to diminish. The Senate Finance Committee is about to vote on “S. 82, the Adoption Tax Credit Guarantee Act” and we are petitioning for them to vote YES to save the adoption tax credit.


The average cost to adopt a child is any where from $25k- $35k or more. Currently, for the 2011 Tax Year Adopting families are eligible for:

• A maximum of $13,170 for 2011 returns
• Fully refundable as long as the adoption is initiated in 2011 or before, and finalized before the end of 2012 (domestic) or was finalized in 2011 (international)

But in 2012 the Tax Credit is going to change:
• A maximum of $12,170 for 2012 returns only, non-refundable

In 2013 it all goes away, no tax credit at all.

We are working with politicians and petitioning to extend the tax credit as currently stated in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, so that more money is available to families allowing them provide a financially stable home to the adopted child.


1. To help save the credit, it only takes a minute. Visit this website & add your name to the petition:

2. Please consider sending this letter to your adoptive families, as they will be greatly impacted by the success or failure to keep the adoption credit.

January 13, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized | ,


  1. Are you certain that it is still refundable even if not finalized until 2012 as long as it is initiated in 2011? I have not found anything stating that anywhere else.

    Comment by candice | February 4, 2012 | Reply

    • Please see my most recent post regarding this issue. If finalized in 2012, it is not refundable anymore unless the current law changes. You will only benefit if you have federal income tax liability. The most recent posts should answer your question about this. Let me know if you have any other questions. The credit is only good once the adoption has finalized. It does not matter when you began the process, at least that is my understanding.

      Comment by adoptionupdate | February 9, 2012 | Reply

  2. Our adoption will initiate this year in June(2012). I understand it is a (6) month process for finalization. Do I need to make sure our finalization paperwork is 100% complete before the end of December 2012? If we can’t get a court date until January will we ineligible for the tax credit all together?

    Comment by Jamie | March 2, 2012 | Reply

    • It is my understanding that yes, the finalization has to be complete in order to apply for the credit. You will need to submit the Adoption Decree which is received upon finalization. President Obama has included the adoption tax credit in his budget plans for 2013, so that is good news. It has not been approved yet, but we are hopeful. If it does extend, you will be fine. If it does not, you will have to finalize in 2012 in order to receive the credit. Again, I am not an adoption tax credit expert, this is just my understanding.

      Comment by adoptionupdate | March 21, 2012 | Reply

  3. In addition to the petition mentioned above (, there is also an advocacy kit to help you contact your representatives so we can make this tax credit permanent – it takes too long for families to be formed through adoption and if this part of the financing was clear more families could plan and might not hesitate to pursue adoption!

    Comment by Erin Shannon Bullard (@erinhey) | March 27, 2012 | Reply

  4. You should change this phrase above: “• Fully refundable as long as the adoption is initiated in 2011 or before, and finalized before the end of 2012 (domestic) or was finalized in 2011 (international).

    It is not true that it is fully refundable (under current law) unless it finalizes in 2011. Doesn’t matter when the process started.

    Comment by Mary | April 25, 2012 | Reply

  5. We finalize on Dec 7,2012 will we be eligible for the refundable tax credit? we are a middle class family so if it is non refundable for a special needs child it will actually do us no good right ?

    Comment by sharlon | December 6, 2012 | Reply

    • Adoptions finalized in 2012 can get the credit, but it is not refundable. You are eligible and should file the credit but you will not receive refunds against that credit unless you have a tax laibility. The credit will carry forward for 5 years, so even if you can’t use it in 2012, you may be able to use it in the future so claim the credit!

      Comment by Lonnie Shook Jr, EA | January 11, 2013 | Reply

  6. This amazing blog, “Adoption Tax Credit 2012 Adoption Update” reveals that u understand everything that you r writing about!
    I really absolutely agree with your post.

    Thanks a lot -Jenna

    Comment by | January 13, 2013 | Reply

  7. You truly constructed several good tips in ur article, “Adoption Tax Credit 2012
    | Adoption Update”. I may end up returning to ur web-site in the near future.
    Many thanks -Scott

    Comment by | January 26, 2013 | Reply

  8. we adopted 3 children in 2012 and we were told our tax refund is non refundable,,,,im confused,i feel we are sitting on money and dont get to touch it,,its not fair

    Comment by robin powell | February 27, 2013 | Reply

  9. I actually blog likewise and I’m writing a thing comparable to this specific posting, “Adoption Tax Credit 2012 Adoption Update” tomfury.
    com . Do you care if I actuallyuse a lot of of your personal tips?
    Regards ,Antony

    Comment by Williams | March 3, 2013 | Reply

    • No, I do not mind at all! Sorry for the delay in response.

      Comment by adoptionupdate | May 7, 2013 | Reply

  10. i adopted 2 children in june of 2011. do i get a refund when i file my 2012 tax returns. ??? alot of people are telling me i wont get the 13,000 refund. im really confused. can someone explain this to me.

    Comment by melissa | March 16, 2013 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: