WASHINGTON, DC (CNA/EWTN News) - Republican leaders have restored the adoption tax credit to their federal tax proposal, after a week of criticism over the credit's omission from the original House plan.
On Thursday, it was announced that the adoption tax credit is included in the Senate version of the tax plan, and has been restored to the House version, where it had originally been left out.
Created through a bipartisan effort in 1996, the tax credit allows families a maximum credit of $13,570 per eligible adopted child.
Advocates for the credit argue that it helps defray the high costs of adoption, which might prevent children otherwise eligible for adoption from finding families. They also argue that encouraging adoption saves state and federal money that would otherwise be spent on children in the foster care system.
The cost of a domestic adoption frequently tops $30,000, and international adoptions are even more expensive, according to the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute.
These costs cover birth expenses, counseling, fees for an evaluation of the adopting couple, legal work, documentation, travel expenses, and adoption agency costs.
Following the release of the House tax plan, several Republican congressmen - including Reps. Chris Smith (N.J.), Jeff Fortenberry (Neb.), Diane Black (Tenn.), and Trent Franks (Ariz.) - had called on party leadership to return the tax credit to the proposal.
Fortenberry told CNA that the policy is "a clear and legitimate statement by the government that we have a preferential policy for life."
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, praised the decision to reinstate the tax credit in the GOP plan.
"This important pro-life tax credit costs the government relatively little, but by reducing the steep expenses of adoption, it makes all the difference to tens of thousands of families each year who open their homes and hearts to children in need," she said Thursday.
"The amended bill gives these families the support they deserve in making the courageous, loving decision to adopt."