Adoption Update

The most up-to-date adoption news

Be Thou My Vision!

I am pleased to be advocating for this itty bitty DARLING!!! Meet itty bitty Haddie! Haddie’s DOB is 1/2013. She has trouble seeing out of her left eye and her file states she is to young to vision test so they are unsure how much she can or cannot see. Physically and developmentally she is right on track! Haddie’s special needs are cerebral dysplasia (although no signs of developmental delay), strephenopodia of both feet, meaning, “flat feet” and vitreous spotty opacities of left eye. She is a little darling! Haddie is listed with ATWA. Interested families can contact them at http://www.atwatogether.org

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March 5, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

New Waiting Children Listed.

Last week I was assigned new children that I have the honor of advocating for and my oh my how special each of them are! Please read about these deserving children!

Meet Ryan! DOB 6/2009. He has a right anterior archanoid cyst and a weak left leg. His physical and mental development is delayed, but he is capable of learning! He can move independently, walking, jogging, up and down stairs but his movement is a little abnormal. He can do simple things like moving chairs, feeding himself, play games, dress himself, use the toilet and fold clothes. He is capable of doing so much more if he gets the attention he needs! There are three videos available of Ryan for interested families. They highlight how intelligent he is and his potential to be amazing!

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Molly is a sweet and playful girl. Her DOB is 3/2004. Molly can sit, stand and walk, jump, run and go up and down stairs independently. She can make movements with teacher’s guidance. Regarding language development, she can communicate with nannies and teachers. She get’s along well with other children and likes to help others. She is able to play with toys, clap hands and dance with music, and participate in outdoor activities. Molly’s special need is mental retardation. Give her a chance. Look at her file!

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Cody is ready to come home! His DOB is 12/2007. He has CHD. He is described as a very happy child. He has waited far too long. He could truly blossom with a family of his own. Cody had heart surgery on December 3, 2013. He can have simple communication with adults and likes to imitate. He can recite simple Chinese poems and can recognize some colors. He can stand, walk and jump. Since he just had surgery he has to take it slow. He likes to swing, slide and play with toys. He is friendly, likes to be with his teachers and plays well with the other children.

 

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Olivia has a $2000 grant! Her DOB is 3/2007. She has DS. She is described as restless and brave. She likes to dance and she is able to focus on activities like stringing beads and coloring worksheets. She is a confident girl! She needs a family!

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Each of these waiting children are listed with Across The World Adoptions. You can find more info about them and other waiting children at www.atwatogether.org.

March 3, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Waiting Child Grant Increase

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Ana’s grant has increased this week from $2000 – $3000. We are trying very hard to find her family and would love for you to consider making her your own.  Ana is so sweet. Her DOB is 1/2011. Her special need is post op spina bifida. She has no use of her lower limbs and is incontinent. Ana is very healthy and a video is available of her if you are interested. She was operated on by a US team from Pennsylvania and recovered at Maria’s Big House of Hope. This photo was taken in 12/2013. Please share her with your adoptive community and help bring her home!

Contact Across The World Adoptions for more info

www.atwatogether.org

February 25, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a 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

New Documentary on International Adoption

There have been quite a few documentaries that have been produced recently, the two most recent that I am aware of are Somewhere Between and Stuck. Has anyone seen them? I wanted to let you know about another documentary that has come across my radar. It is called Mercy, Mercy. Unlike the two documentaries mentioned above, this one deals with Ethiopia and Denmark. It states that it shows the “true picture of international adoption”. I did not know there was one true reality when it comes to adoption but maybe I am wrong. What do you think?

April 30, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Cambodia Will Open Adoption Program ***ALERT*** Read below

Beginning January 1, 2013, Cambodia will open its doors to International Adoption after being closed down 4 years ago due to corruption. The United States will allow adoptions from Cambodia as well. To read more, click here.

***ALERT*** The United States has determined that it will not be able to process intercountry adoptions in Cambodia at this time, under the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Convention). January 2, 2013 read more here.

October 31, 2012 Posted by | adoption, International Adoption | , , | Leave a comment

Adoption Tax Credit 2012 and Beyond

The adoption tax credit is refundable for both 2010 and 2011. Under current law (which could still be changed), the tax credit is as follows in 2012 and 2013:

2012 — The tax credit will be $12,650 per child. Families who adopt children with special needs will be able to claim the full credit regardless of their qualified adoption expenses. Other adopters will have to have qualified adoption expenses.

The credit will NOT be refundable, meaning that families can benefit only if they have federal income tax liability. Just as before 2010, families will claim the credit with their 2012 taxes, use what they can that year, and then can carry any remaining credit forward for five additional years until the credit is used up or time runs out.

We strongly encourage everyone who is eligible to claim the credit even if they will not benefit in 2012. It is possible families’ tax situations will change in future years or that the credit might become refundable again.

2013 — Only families who adopt special needs children from foster care will be eligible for up to $6,000 in the adoption tax credit. However, the credit will be based on expenses so families would need to have qualified adoption expenses to claim any credit. The credit will not be refundable, so families can benefit only if they have federal income tax liability. The income limits for the credit will also be reduced significantly in 2013, meaning that families with higher incomes will not benefit.

The adoption credit was made permanent for special needs adoption when the credit was first created. Credits for other adoptions are time limited and are scheduled to end by December 31, 2012.

 Information taken from this article.

February 9, 2012 Posted by | adoption | , , , , | 1 Comment

UNICEF in the news……again

Perhaps UNICEF’s high success is also it’s biggest enemy? UNICEF claims that International Adoption should only be a last resort. That these children are better off growing up in their birth culture.  The Washington Times has an article that states the following: “The organization’s has staked out a firm position: children must be given to birth parents, regardless of the circumstance.  In lieu of that, children should go to extended family.  Next, to his or her “community.”  Finally, domestic adoption should be explored.  Inter-country adoption is “one of a range of options” according to UNICEF and should be turned to as a last resort.  The organization goes so far as to claim that international adoption must be “subsidiary” to in-country adoption, at all costs”. The statement, “at all costs” is what speaks to me. At all costs means a slew of different environments that UNICEF is willing to place these children in above a stable environment with people that may not look like the child.

Thoughts? Click here to read the article.

September 2, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment