Adoption Update

The most up-to-date adoption news

Remember Ben

A few days ago I posted about a boy named Ben who lives in China. In July he ages and will no longer be able to be adopted. He has lived in his orphanage his entire life and has a $20,000 adoption grant available for him. He is aware of this grant and he is aware that no one has come forward to call him their own. Until two days ago. He learned that he has a family who is making him their son! I just want you all to know that advocating for these kids WORKS. Don’t hesitate to pass those stories along. They change people’s lives and it is important. You can read Ben’s previous post here

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May 25, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Aging Out

What does it mean to age out? I was a guest blogger at Love Without Boundaries today. Head on over and read it, share it, pin it, spread it. These stories need to be told. It is up to us to tell them. 

May 17, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Another Boy Ready For A Home

This is Ben. Ben is on the right.
Ben

Ben lives in China in an orphanage. He has lived here his whole life. Ben has mild CP and back when he was a preschooler, the orphanage director did not think that he could ever be adopted because no one would adopt a child with CP. As a result, they never started an adoption file for him. It was not until just a few years ago that an adoption file was created for him and the possibility of him being adopted became an option. By this time, Ben had seen many of his friends be adopted and he was always left behind. Can you imagine how that must feel? Ben is now 13 years old. In July he will age out and will no longer be able to be adopted. *********The good news is that there is a $20,000 adoption grant available for Ben! $20,000!!!! *********Plus, the orphanage that he lives at is waiving the orphanage fee. This opens the door to any family who is paperwork ready! Please share Ben’s story. Get the word out. To read more from Amy Eldridge, the founder of Love Without Boundaries and her personal experience with Ben, click here. To see videos of Ben, click here.
*Please note: in the above link the adoption grant and orphanage fee is out dated. The news of the $20,000 adoption grant and $0 orphanage fee just came today. I hope that this adoption community can work together to find Ben a home.

May 9, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Let’s Talk Taxes 2013

Now that the adoption tax credit has been made permanent by President Obama, let’s take a deeper look into how it actually works.

1. The adoption tax credit can be claimed for eligible adoption related expenses. All adoptions with the exception of stepparent adoptions fall under the tax credit. Also, just so you know surrogacy does not qualify either.The 2013 maximum credit amount is $12,970.

2. The tax credit is non-refundable. This means that only those individuals with tax liability will benefit from the credit. What does tax liability mean? It means only those people who end up owing on their taxes will benefit from this credit. This is bad news for low and middle income families because most of them do not have the larger tax liabilities that higher income families do. So, the tax credit is not that great for low and middle income families. Most of the time, it does not help them out in anyway.

2. If your modified adjusted gross income is equal to or more than $234,580.00 you cannot claim the credit. Bummer.

3. If you do not receive the full amount the first year you claim it, you can continue to claim it for up to 6 years. Hopefully you will receive the full amount by then.

4. If you are married but filing separately, you cannot claim it. You must file jointly.

5. Families who adopt a special needs child may claim the full $12,970 even if their qualified expenses do not reach the maximum amount as stated by law. These families do not need to document adoption expenses for this purpose as long as they pay enough in taxes to claim the credit. A special needs adoption only applies to a child born in the United States. It does not apply to an international adoption. Most cases are that of a foster child in the US. Children who are determined to be special needs are typically older, are part of sibling groups that will be placed together with one family, or have physical, emotional, or mental disabilities. All children adopted from foster care with an adoption assistance agreement (also referred to as adoption subsidy agreement) from their state or county are considered special needs for purposes of the tax credit. Just because a child has a disability does not mean they qualify for the special needs adoption tax credit. Those who do not have an adoption assistance agreement are not considered special needs.

6. Once you are eligible to claim the tax credit, you will have a total of six years to use the credit. Even if you think that you will have not tax liability on your first year, go ahead and include Form 8839 to establish your adoption tax credit. That will save yourself the pain of having to adjust your taxes should you have liability in the future,

7. You cannot claim the tax credit until your adoption has finalized (this applies to special needs and international adoptions).

8. For US domestic adoptions, you can claim the tax credit before the adoption has finalized.

9. If you have a failed US adoption and have qualifying expenses, you can claim the tax credit a year after you incurred the expenses. So, if you had expenses from a failed adoption in 2012, you can claim them in 2014 on your 2013 taxes. A failed international adoption is not included in this.

10. Many states offer an adoption reimbursement program.

11. Many employers offer an adoption assistance reimbursement program.

I hope that this information is helpful. DISCLAIMER: I am not a tax expert, CPA or anything of the sort. I encourage you to do your own research and speak to your tax preparer regarding this topic.

May 7, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

New piece of legislation

Senator Mary Landrieu from Louisiana was a speaker at Summit 9 this past week. If you do not know her, she is one of adoptions biggest voices in our national government and we love her commitment to children who need a family. She released this statement prior to Summit 9 and I am anxious to see how and if this piece of legislation that she is speaking of will effect the current adoption community. 

From Senator Mary Landrieu:

I want to make you aware of an important piece of legislation I will be announcing this Friday at the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit in Nashville. It’s called Children in Families First or CHIFF, and it will ensure that U.S. foreign assistance puts into action the core American belief that all children have the right to grow up in a permanent, loving family. CHIFF enhances U.S. Government action on behalf of children living without families using the full array of options – family preservation, family reunification, kinship, and domestic and international adoption – while also streamlining and simplifying U.S. international adoption procedures.

We all work under the steadfast belief that every child deserves a permanent family to call his or her own. We have achieved many successes together on behalf of vulnerable children around the world, and I hope I will have your support for this important new initiative. I plan to introduce this legislation this summer and will keep you updated on developments.

If you want to be involved or have any questions, please contact Whitney Reitz at Whitney_Reitz@landrieu.senate.gov or Libby Whitbeck at Libby_Whitbeck@landrieu.senate.gov on my staff.

All the best,

Senator Mary Landrieu

May 7, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Adoption Advocacy Alert! This Boy needs a home!

******Breaking new regarding Matthew********
Here is the deal, if Matthew does not have a completed adoption by mid September 2013, he will not be able to be adopted EVER. The Chinese government rules that once a child turns 14, they are never allowed to be adopted. The orphan status will follow him around for the rest of his life. The orphan status will make it difficult for him to be accepted into a school, get a job, finding housing, live a normal life. So, to help change his life Reese’s Rainbow has added him to their organization. You can donate towards an adoption grant on his behalf which will in turn help a family who wants to adopt him afford the adoption fees. If we pull together we can help Matthew! Let’s do this! Spread the word to everyone you know and help find Matthew his family.
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My heart has been captured by this young man. He lives in the Henan Province in China. He lives in an orphanage. He is 13 years old and will turn 14 in September. When he turns 14, he will age out and will no longer be able to be adopted by any family. I want to spread the word about this handsome, happy young man who would bring joy to any family, anywhere. There are several blog posts written about him. Please take a few minutes to read them and see if you might be his family. Here is one. Here is another one.  And another.  Finally, this one. The last one will require you to scroll down until you get to his post. Please share his story. Help him to find love. If you have questions and concerns about an older child adoption, read this blog post. It is helpful. I have hope that something will happen for him. 

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May 7, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment