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Families May Lose Adoption Tax Break amid Fiscal Cliff Fears

Existing bill providing up to $13,360 to adoptive families is set to expire at the end of 2012.

A government credit that currently provides adoptive families with a major tax break is set to expire at the end of the month–and although a bill to extend the tax credit permanently has been introduced in both chambers of Congress, lawmakersmay not act in time.

The Making Adoption Affordable Act, introduced by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D.-La.), would provide eligible adoptive families with a fully refundable tax credit, allowing them to claim up to $12,650 in adoption-related expenses for adoptions finalized in 2012. That credit would apply to a family's total taxes, reducing the amount owed to the government and possibly resulting in a larger tax return.

Bill J. Blacquiere, president of Bethany Christian Services, a private Christian adoption agency, told Baptist Press that progress for the adoption tax credit bill has "stalled" in light of the Congressional debate over the so-called fiscal cliff.

But Blacquiere also says the government has a vested interest in acting to renew the tax credit for adoptive parents: "The government is paying foster care costs for these children while they're waiting for a home. And if they get into an adoptive home, those costs get reduced to the government," he said.

According to the North American Council on Adoptable Children, a nonprofit group, the tax credit provides incentive for families to adopt "a child with special needs from foster care." As children are adopted out of the government-funded foster care system, long-term government costs are reduced.

CT previously reported that the tax deduction for charitable donations also is in jeopardy as a result of possible fiscal-cliff-related cuts.

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