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Help a Family, Help a Child

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In 2005, when my friend Ashley first considered adoption, she and her husband Rob sent away for information from various adoption agencies and were shocked by the cost of the process. They discovered that adopting through these agencies could range from $25,000$40,000 and up. They were discouraged.No matter how ready they were to welcome a new child in their family, they couldnt imagine how they would be able to pull it off financially.

Then they learned of the adoption tax credit.

Rob and Ashley felt hopeful; this could help make adoption a reasonable option for them. In 2006 they began the process and chose to adopt internationally. There were many reasons for them to choose an international adoption, but mostly it was a natural choice for Ashley since she has siblings adopted from other parts of the world. They felt at the time that Vietnam was the best choice and began moving forward.

Unfortunately, my friends were never able to finalize their adoption from Vietnam, since the country closed down before they were able to complete the adoption process. The news hit them like a death in the family. However, for this particular couple, there was a happy ending.

A few months after what seemed like an end to their attempts to adopt a child from Vietnam, Rob and Ashley found out they were actually expecting a child! God is faithful indeed, and provided a miracle for them to start their family. Ashley had a beautiful little boy named Cole, and she and Rob are still waiting one day to complete the adoption they began and bring home that special boy or girl to add to their already beautiful family. It may not be soon, but they are hopeful.

Since 1996, families like my friends have relied on the adoption tax credit to make adopting a child possible when they would otherwise be financially prohibited from adoption, but its not a permanent part of the tax code.  If it is not extended by Congress, it will expire on December 31, 2010.

Realistically, this means that if Rob and Ashley are unable to complete the process by then, their dreams of adoption may die. And they are not alone.There are so many more couples with stories like theirs, and for each of them the total cost of adopting is so high that there will be many who will be unable to pursue it if the tax credit isnt renewed.

Two bills, S. 2816 by Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Kentucky) and H.R. 213 by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-South Carolina), would ensure that the adoption tax credit does not expire.  Additionally, S. 2816 would ensure that a couple would be allowed to claim adoption expenses when they were incurred and not just when the adoption was finalized. (Currently, the maximum adoption tax credit that may be claimed by income-eligible families is $12,150 and can be claimed only in the year that the adoption is finalized.)

Please help Rob and Ashley and the thousands of other adoptive parents currently in the process.Call your legislators and urge them to continue the adoption tax credit by voting for S. 2816 and H.R. 213 bills that would extend it!

And pray for the couples with the heart to adopt children, here in the United States and elsewhere. Praise the Lord for their hearts and their desire to give homes to orphaned children.

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