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The Adoption Tax Credit Update...

on Wednesday, 02 January 2013. Posted in Adoption, Palmore Hatley Blog

Adoption Tax Credit Extended

adopttion-cartoonAdoption Tax Credit Update…

The bill to avert the “fiscal cliff”, which was signed on January 2, made the adoption tax credit permanent, extending the credit as it was in the 2001 Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act.

The adoption credit is not refundable for 2012 and beyond, which means that only those individuals with tax liability will benefit.

The credit will remain flat for special needs adoptions, which means that people who adopt children who are determined to be special needs (or hard to place) by a state or county child welfare agency can claim the maximum credit regardless of their expenses.

We cannot yet confirm the maximum amount of the credit for 2013, but it will be at least $10,000 (but might be higher due to adjustments for inflation).

We’ll provide additional details as they become available.




The Adoption Tax Credit

Written by Gardale Hatley on Wednesday, 19 December 2012. Posted in Adoption, Palmore Hatley Blog

Two bills related to the lapsing credit for adoptive parents.

Im-just-a-billWhen I receive enough questions about a given topic I start thinking it’s time for a blog post. The adoption tax credit is one such topic. The adoption tax credit was introduced in 1997 and has been available in some form or fashion ever since. Every year, at least as I can remember, we’ve gotten down to December and renewal and there has been great consternation as to whether the credit would be extended. This year is no different.

 The adoption tax credit is available for eligible families who adopt through foster care, intercountry adoption, and private domestic adoption. Over the years, the rules of the credit have changed. Before 2010, the credit could be carried forward over multiple years, in 2010 the credit was made refundable, allowing families to receive the full benefit during a single tax year regardless of taxes due that year.

In 2012, the credit amount decreased to $12,650 and was no longer refundable, eliminating the availability of the credit to some lower to moderate income families without tax consequences.

The current adoption tax credit will end December 31, 2012. Should the credit lapse, the tax benefit will fall to $6,000 and be available only for those who adopted a child that is considered “special needs.”

But there is hope…

On April 17, Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) introduced the "Making Adoption Affordable Act" or HR 4373. The bill would set the adoption tax credit at $13,360 and make it refundable and permanent. The bill is continually gaining bipartisan co-sponsors.

On September 21, Senators Landrieu (D-LA), Blunt (R-MO), Hutchison (R-TX), and Cardin (D-MD) introduced S. 3616. This Senate bill will make the adoption tax credit inclusive, flat for special needs adoptions, refundable, and permanent.

So there is hope in these two pieces of legislation. A wise man once said that you don't want to see what goes into making sausage or laws. He's was right. However, as developments occur we will try to keep you up to date on them. If you are so inclined you can track the progress of both bills at and .

Adopting the Unadoptable

Written by Gardale Hatley on Monday, 05 December 2011. Posted in Adoption, Palmore Hatley Blog

Adopting the historically unadoptable can change lives and reverse social trends.

The term “unadoptable” is used to describe foster children who are older, have special medical needs or are historically difficult to adopt based on race or ethnicity. These characteristics have proven to be obstacles to adoption.

It is critical now than ever that loving adoptive homes be found for these kids. Failure to quickly find adoptive homes for more children has long-term implications for society in general, and for state and local governments. Nationally
foster children who turn 18 in the foster system are more likely to become welfare recipients, prison inmates and homeless. Of young adults who left foster care two to four years before age 18, almost half failed to complete high school, about 38 percent had not held a job for more than one year and about 25 percent had been homeless for at least one night.

Texas has an acute issue with older, special needs children. As of 2009, 6,400 children – over one-quarter of all children in Texas’s Conservatorship– had been in foster care for more than three years. As of May 2010, roughly 500 children had been in Texas state custody for more than ten years. In addition Texas failed a 2002 federal audit of its foster care program, and performed worse on certain key measures in a second audit in 2008.
The timing is critically important.

So, how can we help? Texas is in need of two things, loving home willing to foster children even for a short time and loving homes willing to adopt the unadoptable. Here’s a little primer as to the how part of all this. View the contacts for each of the 11 Texas Department of Family and Protective Services regions . You will see a map of Texas with each of the regions outlined. To the right of the map is a list of each region’s contact person. Clicking on the person’s name will start an email to that person (emailing is recommended). That gets a ball rolling.

Adoption Procedure

on Thursday, 17 November 2011. Posted in Adoption, Palmore Hatley Blog

Ever wonder what adoption might look like, here is an adoption primer.

Here is a sample of what is required of prospective adoptive parents. Each situation is different but generally the child has to live with the prospective family for six months prior to adoption. Then comes the paperwork. Each spouse must join in the petition, the document that essentially asks the court to hear the adoption. Social studies are conducted on the prospective family. For non-familial adoptive parents a report concerning the child’s health, social, educational and genetic history is completed and the adoptive family has the right to see the report. The prospective family must have a criminal background check performed. If there is a managing conservator who is different than the adoptive parents, that conservator gives consent for the adoption. Once a petition for adoption is filed, the court hearing the petition gives the adoption a preferential setting. In other words, the adoption case can move up in line to be heard. A judge then hears the case with both prospective parents present, unless a waiver is granted so one can be absent. The adoption is consummated or granted and the record can then be sealed at the adoptive parent’s request.

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