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Archive for the ‘LGBT adoption’ tag

Could You Use $13,570 to Build Your Family?

By Tracey Minella

November 16th, 2017 at 2:07 pm

 

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You wouldn’t want to lose $13,570, would you? Well, if you are even remotely considering adopting a child someday, you need to read on.

Both LGBT and heterosexual couples often turn to adoption to create their families. Some may go straight to adoption. Others may first try Assisted Reproductive Technologies (“ART”) like in vitro fertilization (“IVF”) and then pursue adoption if those attempts fail. And some try both adoption and ART simultaneously, ready to accept whichever brings them a child first.

For ages, adoption was the primary route many LGBT couples took to become parents. Gay men (having no eggs or uterus to work with) had little choice before the advent of donor egg and gestational carriers. Unfortunately, private newborn adoptions historically favored placement with heterosexual couples, often leaving LGBT wannabe parents to seek adoption through the foster care system. Sometimes, to reduce the wait time for placement, they’d be encouraged to consider older or special needs children.

While more open-minded than in the past, some of today’s birth parents still cling to those old prejudices when choosing adoptive parents, holding out for the so-called “traditional” parental unit–a married heterosexual couple– rather than an LGBT couple or single parent.

At Long Island IVF, rapidly-advancing assisted reproductive medical technology has opened many avenues to family-building for LGBT couples who want to have a biological child. Depending on the particular circumstances, these options may include using donor egg, donor sperm, gestational carriers, or reciprocal IVF. These advancements, coupled with hard-fought legal victories for LGBT marital and parental rights, did—and continue to– change the parenting options landscape for members of the LGBT community.

In spite of these the medical and legal developments, adoption is still the choice of many couples. The idea of giving a stable home to a foster child that is waiting for love is preferable to many couples, even those who could pursue or had success with medical options.

But whether you choose adoption or ART to build a family, there are financial concerns and the costs of either option can pose a barrier to many couples. Every financial family-building resource, benefit, insurance, or credit that exists must remain accessible to all who need it. For those who choose to adopt, that means preserving the federal Adoption Tax Credit.

There’s a lot going on in the political and infertile world—some front-burner and other back-burner movements. One of the hottest items in the news right now is the fate of the federal Adoption Tax Credit.

The federal Adoption Tax Credit is available to American families to help off-set the costs of adoption. It applies to all adoptions– private domestic, international, and through foster care.

In a nutshell, it’s a federal tax credit currently capped at $13,570 for qualified adoption expenses, though it is affected by the family’s income and tax liability. According to Resolve, the National Infertility Organization’s website:

  • Families earning over $203,540 may only claim a partial credit
  • Families earning over $243,540 are not entitled to any credit
  • Families adopting a special needs foster child may claim the maximum credit
  • The credit may be used for up to five additional years if there is not enough tax liability to apply the full amount of the credit in the first year, and it’s non-refundable.
  • The government saves an estimated $65,000-$127,000 per child that’s adopted out of long-term foster care.

The federal Adoption Tax Credit made headlines after appearing to be on the chopping block as part of the current administration’s upcoming Tax Reform proposal. This caused adoption and infertility rights advocates and religious organizations to leap into action to save the tax credit. Without it, countless children will remain in foster care because those who want to adopt them will not be able to afford to do so. Further, those pursuing private domestic or international adoptions may not be able to afford to those options without the credit.

Fortunately, the most recent reports from last week indicate that the political tide is turning in favor of saving the Adoption Tax Credit, but all those who believe it should be saved need to step up and support it. Do it for yourself or someone you love. Or just do it for the good of orphans and kind-hearted strangers. If you were adopting a child today, wouldn’t you want that tax credit?

If you’d like to lend your voice to the effort, you can contact your local representatives or join the efforts of RESOLVE–the group that fights tirelessly for the rights of all members of the infertile community. You can check out the political initiative here.

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Are you or would you consider adopting a child? Would losing the Adoption Tax Credit impact your ability or choice to adopt?

 

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National Adoption Awareness Month Kicks off with Every Child Deserves a Family Act

By Tracey Minella

November 1st, 2011 at 8:17 pm

The big news to start November’s National Adoption Awareness Month…N.Y. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s Every Child Deserves a Family Act.  Read more on the proposed legislation, including interesting facts, studies, and stats, here: http://gillibrand.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/?id=7F6E1235-884D-4361-A281-A9F930ABCABE

The proposed law, announced four days ago, would make it illegal for federally-funded or supported adoption or foster care agencies to discriminate against prospective adoptive and foster parents based on gender identity, marital status or sexual orientation.

Currently, thirty-one states practice some form of discrimination against the LGBT population. And this discrimination exists even though studies have shown LGBT parents can provide just a loving and stable a home as heterosexual parents.

This legislation would enable the more than 400,000 children currently in foster care and 107,000 children currently awaiting adoption…who are languishing away in the system… to be more quickly placed in loving homes with loving families, by opening up the prospective parent pool to include the LGBT population.

Really, doesn’t every child deserve a family?

Those less open-minded to the benefits of this legislation may argue that children adopted by LGBT parents may be at risk of increased bullying and discrimination in their communities.

But sadly, children of many different backgrounds are bullied daily, and it is with help and support from their loving parents that they usually survive. Plus, is the potential for bullying any worse than the known increased risks of not being placed in a loving home? Risks like increased chances of early parenthood or incarceration?

The founder of East Coast Fertility has been committed to family-building for the LGBT population for decades and applauded the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in New York for removing a roadblock that made some LBGT couples reluctant to seek fertility treatment to build their families.

This proposed legislation stands for building loving families…something we at ECF do every day.

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How do you feel about this proposed legislation? Do you think it is fair, with benefits that outweigh concerns? If not, what are your primary concerns or reservations?

Have you adopted or fostered a child, and what was your experience?

Photo credit: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=7054&picture=a-childs-gaze

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