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.
The maximum amount of the credit for 2013 is $12,970.
Additional information is available at http://adoptiontaxcredit.org/FAQs.