Press Release

September 24, 2012
Cardin Co-Sponsors Bill To Make Adoption More Affordable

WASHINGTON U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) has co-sponsored legislation to support families that have made the decision to adopt. The Adoption Tax Credit (ATC) helps defray the sometimes high administrative fees associated with adoptions, ensuring that families who want to adopt are not discouraged by the high cost of the process.  The Making Adoption Affordable Act will make the ATC a permanent part of the tax code and make it refundable, which would allow adoptive families to receive a tax refund in excess of their tax liability.

“More than 100,000 children in the United States currently live in foster care and there are countless more children who are orphaned or abandoned around the world,” said Senator Cardin.  “Adoption provides safe and permanent homes for children, and defraying the costs of adoption through the tax credit is a vital tool to ensure these children become part of a loving, stable family.  The costs associated with adoption can quickly grow, particularly when a child has special needs, and this credit helps families who otherwise might not be able to afford it maintain their economic security as they begin raising their children.”  


The Making Adoption Affordable Act:


  • Permanently expands the ATC and provides up to $13,170 for covered adoption expenses, adjusted for inflation;
  • Makes the ATC refundable, which particularly benefits families adopting from foster care for two reasons:
  • Lower Expenses. Those adopting from foster care incur lower administrative expenses than those adopting from an agency or from a private adoption attorney. Refundability permits a family adopting from foster care to receive support to care for a child even though the actual cost of adoption was minimal;  
  • Lower Tax Liability. Families adopting out of foster care statistically are of lower income than those adopting with an agency or internationally. A lower income means that the family is in a lower tax bracket, thus the ATC is more likely to be in excess of a family’s tax liability.