Below are just a few stories of the tens of thousands of children and families who lives have been affected by the adoption tax credit. If you would like to share your story about how the adoption tax credit has helped or would help your family if it were made refundable, post it on the Save the Adoption Tax Credit Facebook page.
The Peach Family, Kansas City, Kansas
In January 2009, Susan and Jay Peach’s niece’s children entered foster care. Kayla, Ethan, and Markus, ages 6 months to 3 years old, were separated from one another and moved several times in foster care. Susan and Jay were determined to bring them together into their family of five, so they spent their life savings to fight to have the children placed with them. The children were placed in their home in November 2009.
Susan, a social worker, and Jay, a minister, had limited resources but did what needed to be done to care for Kayla, Ethan, and Markus. They provided the children with clothes and furniture, and purchased an eight-passenger van so their newly expanded family could travel in one vehicle. Because the children had experienced such turmoil in their short lives, Susan and Jay reduced their work hours and worked split shifts so one of them was always home. Susan explains, “We had never planned or positioned ourselves to raise six children, three of whom have significant special needs. We had depleted our savings, cut our income to facilitate their healing, and added un-thought of expenses, and we would do it all over again in a heartbeat.”
Although the Peaches were prepared to adopt soon after the children entered their home, numerous court and other delays kept the adoption from happening on time. Since the adoption finalized in 2012, the Peach family will not be eligible for a refundable adoption tax credit. With moderate incomes and six dependents, the family will not benefit if the credit unless the credit is made refundable in future years.
The Ricketts Family, Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Dara and Justin Ricketts struggled with infertility for five years before they decided that there was another way for them to have children. As Dara explains, “We took a while to decide to start the adoption process because we weren’t sure how we were going to pay for it. We decided to put it in God’s hands.” When they learned about the refundable adoption tax credit, the Ricketts knew they could move forward with adoption.
Not long after the Ricketts began the process, beautiful baby Kensie was placed in their arms. Because of the tax credit, they had their daughter and have even decided to pursue adoption again. Unfortunately, since the credit isn’t refundable right now, the Ricketts may not be able to benefit from the adoption tax credit as they did before.
The Mosley Family, Sparta, Wisconsin
Sarah and Jeremy adopted a baby from Ethiopia. “Bringing home our Micah Mihretu from Ethiopia was the proudest day of my life,” Sarah explains. “But the stress of paying for the adoption was difficult.” The credit enabled the family to pay off the loans they had incurred to make the adoption possible. Their adoption fees were equal to Sarah’s salary as a teacher, and they could never have afforded them without the credit. The Mosleys would like to adopt again, but Sarah says, “We continue to save for the next adoption process to start, but without the tax credit, I am not sure it will be possible.”
The Schindler Family, Harlan, Indiana
Mark and Lenore Schindler became foster parents years ago. Because they knew brothers and sisters should be able to stay together, they asked to be considered for larger sibling groups. After fostering for several years, they adopted 12-year-old Rylee and 9-year-old Emery in November 2010 and qualified for the refundable adoption tax credit. The refund helped them improve their house to better serve the kids and enabled them to survive financially when Mark was unemployed for several months. Lenore notes, “We didn’t miss a house payment. We didn’t go hungry. Things were tight but do-able. I know that if we hadn’t received the credit we would be among the many losing their home.”
But the Schindlers weren’t done with adoption. They found out about four siblings in Texas, aged 10 to 14, who were living separately in a group home setting, and decided to adopt them too. They have space in their hearts but to fit these four children into their lives, Mark and Lenore will need to remodel their home to make room and purchase a vehicle that can hold all 12 members of the family. Without the refundable adoption tax credit, the family will need to go deeply into debt, putting their whole family at risk.
The Christian family, Elk Grove, California
The Christian family had one-year-old twins placed with them in October 2011. The twins have significant medical needs and developmental delays from exposure to and severe neglect. One of the girls has a rare autoimmune disease that attacks her kidneys and results in frequent hospitalizations. In spite of these challenges, Ashley exclaims, “They are such a blessing and delight to our lives and we are so happy to see them thriving in a loving home!”
Because the adoption finalized in 2012 when the credit is not refundable, the Christians won’t be able to benefit. Funds from such a credit, Ashley explains, “would enable us to provide therapies for our girls that are not otherwise covered and that we cannot currently afford. It would also help us provide for their future needs.” Due to the girls’ special needs, they require a full-time stay-at-home parent, so the family cannot benefit if the credit is not refundable.