Pro-life organizations and lawmakers are pushing back against the repeal of the adoption tax credit in the GOP tax reform bill that was unveiled Thursday.
The credit, which is capped at $13,460, is meant to help families afford the often expensive process of adoption. The credit was initially passed in 1997 and is not available to families making more than $242,000 a year.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life advocacy group Susan B. Anthony List, said they oppose the provision of the bill that repeals the adoption tax credit because the credit "helps tens of thousands of families each year offset the steep costs of adopting children."
Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, called it "unfortunate" that the bill eliminates the credit.
"Considering that the adoption process can cost expectant parents up to $40,000," she said, "the March for Life recognizes how essential this tax credit is in promoting adoption and will continue to work to get this credit reinstated.”
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), the chief writer of the tax reform plan and himself the father of two adopted sons, attempted to explain the decision to exclude the credit to The Washington Post Friday.
"This credit is not working," Brady said, arguing that the overall effect of the Republican’s tax plan would be "giving families more in their paychecks, especially the middle-class families that are crucial for adoption.”
He added that the child tax credit would grow by $600 to $1,600 per child, which would help families whether they adopt or not.
"I think this is a better approach for the vast majority of Americans who are left behind," Brady said.
However many adoption advocates disagreed with Brady’s assessment, saying the changes in the tax plan overall would discourage adoption.
"It doesn't balance out the loss and doesn't act as an incentive," Adam Pertman, president of the National Center for Adoption and Permanency said.
Jedd Medefind, president of the Christian Alliance for Orphans, said he's seen the tax credit be the difference between families adopting or having to back out. He anticipates less adoption if the credit is eliminated.
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) both tweeted opposition to removing the adoption tax credit.
Amen. Being pro-life means being pro-adoption. Congress must remember this as we work through the details of tax reform in the coming weeks. https://t.co/7rPz6lU0hE— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) November 3, 2017
Tax Bill is strong but needs to include adoption tax credit. Providing a home for a child that is unwanted or special needs is pro-life!— Rep. Mark Walker (@RepMarkWalker) November 3, 2017
However, perhaps some of the most persuasive advocates for including the tax credit in the GOP plan were those who had made use of it in the past.
This is my daughter we would not have been able to afford her adoption if it were not for the adoption tax credit that is being removed. pic.twitter.com/cHGXHrEK16— ben hardman (@Ben_Hardman) November 3, 2017
We adopted our beautiful daughter this year. Too many children are parent less in this world. Please don’t end the adoption tax credit. pic.twitter.com/d1PL2cdkFg— Lauren Grodstein (@laurengrodstein) November 3, 2017