Calling all friends to please help put pressure on your Senators and Congressmen to support making the adoption credit permanent. As it stands now, the tax credit put in place in 2001 will expire in December 2010. For those of us who expected to be waiting no more than 12 months for our children but now are looking at 4 years (yes FOUR YEARS!), this could be another slap in the face when it comes to our adoption process.
Right now, adoption costs likely exceed $20,000 for each family. That is pretty tough for most people and the credit is how most people can manage to make this work. Right now the credit is $12,150 with certain limitations based on salary.
So could I ask that anyone who has come by this blog take a minute to help? We need people to write to their representatives to ask them to co-sponsor the bill that will make this credit permanent.
Here is a step-by-step guide of how to help:
1. Find the name and Washington, D.C. mailing address of your Representative and Senators at www.congress.org. To find e-mail addresses, click through to the Senator’s or Congressperson’s Web site.
2. Next, log on to http://thomas.loc.gov/ to find out whether your Congresspersons are already co-sponsors of the legislation. On the thomas.loc.gov opening page, under “Search Bill Summary and Status,” search by bill number for H.R. 213. Then click on “Bill summary and Status.” On the page that comes up, click on “Cosponsors,” “Text of Legislation,” or “All Congressional Actions” to follow the progress of the bill. (FOR ANYONE IN MA - OUR REPS ARE NOT CO-SPONSORING SO PLEASE WRITE, WRITE, WRITE!)
3. If your representatives have not signed on as co-sponsors of the bill, send them your request that they do so. Tell them how important the tax credit was to you when you adopted your children, or how much you and other families you know are counting on it to be available in the future. Emphasize that the tax credit truly results in more children finding homes. Tell them that this is so important to you that you will be following the bill’s progress through Congress.
4. INCLUDE A FAMILY PHOTO: While e-mails are valuable, a written note with a picture of your family or your children will be most effective. If sending e-mail, you’ll actually want to avoid attaching a photo; the large size of the message and the attachment could, potentially, mark it as junk or harmful e-mail.
5. If any of your Congresspersons are already co-sponsors, write them a thank-you note. Again, letters sent by snail-mail with photos of your children will receive more attention.
Here is a sample letter I found online along with the information above. If you are not a family adopting, please still write and include that you know people who are adopting and would like your representative to support giving children good and loving homes through adoption.
SAMPLE LETTER TO YOUR SENATOR or CONGRESSMAN:
The Honorable FIRST NAME LAST NAME
U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. ZIP CODE
Dear Senator LAST NAME:
My family and I are your constituents in NAME OF TOWN. We request your support of The Adoption Tax Relief Guarantee Act of 2009, H.R. 213
The adoption tax credit that this legislation would make permanent is very important to my family and me. Without this significant financial help, we would not have been able (or would have found it very difficult) to adopt our beloved son (or daughter), NAME. I include a photo of my son/daughter.
As you may know, adoption expenses can easily exceed $20,000, a significant sum to most families. (Or, if your expenses were more, say so.) Without the adoption tax credit, we would probably not be able to adopt another child.
I truly believe that the adoption expense tax credit results in many more children without homes finding new, loving families like my own.
I urge you to co-sponsor H.R. 213. This legislation is so important to me that I will be following its progress through Congress. Thank you in advance for your support of this legislation that truly serves children who need new families.