Walorski Honors National Foster Care Month with Bill to Strengthen Adoption Tax Credit
Bipartisan Legislation Would Help Foster Youth Find Permanent Families Via Adoption
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), the ranking member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Worker and Family Support, along with subcommittee Chairman Danny Davis (D-Ill.), marked National Foster Care Month with bipartisan legislation to strengthen the Adoption Tax Credit. Walorski and Davis were joined by U.S. Reps. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Don Bacon (R-Neb.) in introducing the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act of 2021, which would help low- and middle-income families adopt children by making the current credit fully refundable.
“Adoption is truly a blessing for both children and families,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “Breaking down barriers to adoption – especially for lower- and middle-income Americans – is essential to giving foster youth and other vulnerable children a better chance to thrive. This bipartisan bill will restore refundability of the Adoption Tax Credit and help more hardworking families welcome a child into a loving, permanent home.”
“The Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act reflects common-sense federal policy,” Congressman Davis said. “It strengthens families, removes income as a barrier to adoption, and helps vulnerable children join permanent, loving families. Former foster youth represent the majority of children adopted by families earning less than 200 percent of the poverty level. This bill will make a critical difference in the ability of lower and middle-income families to adopt, especially when so many families are struggling economically due to the pandemic. I am proud to recognize National Foster Care Month by working across the aisle to improve the Adoption Tax Credit to better help more children and families benefit.”
“When a child is placed in the child welfare system, they become the responsibility of the government,” Congresswoman Bass said. “It is our duty to do well by these young people, which includes helping them find forever homes. This bill will help achieve this goal by addressing income as a barrier to adoption. Too often families are unable to provide loving, permanent homes but making the current Adoption Tax Credit fully refundable will help change that. I’m proud to lead this bill with my friend, Congressman Danny Davis, and urge my colleagues to support this important bill.”
“For years, income has become a roadblock for many families wishing to adopt,” Congressman Bacon said. “As co-chair of the Foster Youth Caucus and an adoptive parent myself, I understand the need to remove this barrier by offsetting these burdensome costs. By making the adoption tax credit fully refundable, this bill makes it easier for families to adopt and gives our nation’s youth a safe, loving, and permanent home. I thank my co-leads for their partnership on this common-sense, bipartisan legislation that is desperately needed today.”
The Adoption Tax Credit helps families offset some of the costs of adoption, especially for children with special needs. Currently, the tax credit disadvantages low- and middle-income families, in particular families with annual incomes between $30,000 to $50,000. Approximately half of youth adopted from foster care live in families with incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level; thus, the credit inadvertently creates barriers to permanency for a substantial number of families.
During the Great Recession, Congress made the Adoption Tax Credit refundable recognizing that the economic hardship could prevent families from adopting or exact a heavy financial toll from families choosing adoption during a downturn. The Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act of 2021 would again make this credit permanent to remove income as a barrier to adoption to help more children join permanent, loving families.
The Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act of 2021 is supported by the 83 members of the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group, including state and national leaders on child welfare, such as: Child Welfare League of America; Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption; Lutheran Services in America; National Council for Adoption; North American Council on Adoptable Children; and Voice for Adoption.
Senators Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) introduced the bipartisan Senate companion measure.
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Ranking Member of the House Ethics Committee.