Adoption Credit Returns to Tax Bill after GOP Hears from Pro-Life Americans

Larry and Jennifer Mergentheimer with adopted daughter
Frank Eltman/AP

Pro-life activists are celebrating the restoration of the Adoption Tax Credit to the GOP tax reform bill.

Rep. Kevin Brady’s (R-TX) manager’s amendment comes following letters, calls, and petitions from pro-life activists who continually urge “adoption, not abortion.”

The amendment preserves the adoption tax credit and includes additional tax relief for small businesses, reports the Hill.

In a statement sent to Breitbart News, Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins said Republicans responded to their base.

“After hearing from pro-life Americans nationwide, Congress did the right thing in adding back the adoption tax credit to the tax bill,” she said. “Pregnant mothers need to know that the choice of adoption is both viable and supported by the U.S. Government, which should not be funding the nation’s largest abortion vendor on one hand while cutting adoption funding on the other.”

Hawkins cited the high costs of adoption – higher than $40,000 in some cases – that can make accepting the responsibility prohibitive for some families.

“At stake are real human lives,” she continued. “We need to support those families who make a lasting difference in the lives of children. There are better ways to balance a budget than on the backs of children who need good homes and on parents who want to provide what the children desperately need.”

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), co-chairman of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, released the following statement:

The Republican Party has been and always will be the party of life. Adoption, not abortion, has long since been one of the most noble mantras of the party of Lincoln. Chairman Kevin Brady and Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rogers, as well as Rep. Diane Black and Rep. Mike Kelly, should be effusively praised for ensuring the Adoption Tax Credit remains in the House Republican Tax Reform bill.

Franks said that by adding in the adoption credit, Brady’s measure is “an outstandingly holistic pro-life and pro-family bill.”

The GOP tax overhaul also allows unborn children to be eligible for tax-advantaged 529 college savings plans. The bill recognizes an “unborn child … at any stage of development who is carried in the womb” as a person eligible for the education plans.

Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser echoed the need for the adoption tax credit to support families who take the step to adopt children.

“This important pro-life tax credit costs the government relatively little, but by reducing the steep expenses of adoption, it makes all the difference to tens of thousands of families each year who open their homes and hearts to children in need,” she said. “The amended bill gives these families the support they deserve in making the courageous, loving decision to adopt.”

Americans United for Life President Catherine Glenn Foster also thanked Brady for the restoration of the adoption credit.

“The adoption tax credit has helped my own family, and I am very thankful that it will continue to be available to parents who have so generously decided to provide children in need with a forever family,” she said.

Deanna Wallace, Staff Counsel at AUL, says, as a former foster child herself, she knows “exactly how impactful adoption can be in a child’s life.”

“Adoption is an important part of creating a culture of life, and AUL thanks Chairman Kevin Brady and the House leadership for restoring the adoption tax credit today,” she added.

Similarly, Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie – Policy Advisor with The Catholic Association – said the inclusion of the adoption tax credit is “consistent with a pro-life platform.”

“Besides the up-front costs, such as agency and legal fees, many adopted children need additional therapy and assistance after they join their new families,” she explained. “The adoption tax credit helps lower the economic barriers to adoption – a beautiful thing for the children who desperately need parents and the families who long to bring them home.”


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