VIDEO: Rep. Black Speaks Out on National Adoption Month; Calls for Fully Refundable Adoption Tax Credit
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06), co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, released a special video message honoring National Adoption Month. In her remarks, Congressman Black called for passage of her legislation: the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act of 2015, and recounted the inspiring story of the Owens family from Wyomissing, Pennsylvania – an adoptive family who recently came to Capitol Hill to rally support for her bill. A transcript of Congressman Black’s remarks is provided below. To watch the video on YouTube, click here.
Hi, I’m Congressman Diane Black. This November is National Adoption Month.
It is a time to celebrate the lives that have been transformed through adoption, but also a sobering reminder of the more than 108,000 children in our nation’s foster care system who are still waiting on their forever family.
We know that there are parents across this country who have room in their hearts to adopt, but who may not have room in their budget. In fact, almost half of all children adopted from foster care live in households with incomes at or below 200 percent of the poverty line.
We can’t change the high cost of adoption overnight, but we can ensure that our tax laws provides some help to offset that expense. The federal government offers an adoption tax credit, but it is not fully refundable. That means it disadvantages those at lower income levels who need this savings tool the most. In fact, a family with a household income of $35,000 or less receives no benefit from this credit at all.
That is why I introduced the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act. This bipartisan bill would give every family access to the adoption tax credit – regardless of income.
Earlier this month, I met an inspiring adoptive family who told me their story of adoption and the difference that a fully refundable adoption tax credit could make in the lives of other parents like them.
This the Owens Family. Following the untimely passing of their precious three and a half year-old boy, they felt a calling on their life to adopt a child with special needs. Fast forward a few years and they are the proud parents of five – with four of their children added to their family through the miracle of adoption. Without making the adoption tax credit fully refundable, families like theirs don’t benefit.
Adoption is a beautiful choice for any parent to make, and we should make sure that our tax laws work for these families – not against them. This National Adoption Month, let’s resolve to match more children with moms and dads. Let’s stand on the side of parents like the Owens family, who have opened their hearts to adoption and are simply asking Washington not to stand in the way. And let’s make the adoption tax credit fully refundable.
Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. She has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years and serves on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees