Legislature should back tax credit for adoptive parents
Saturday, December 28, 2013 4:00 AM
Gov. Mike Pence's proposal to provide tax incentives to adults who adopt children should help find homes for some of the more than 1,000 Hoosier children in need of a home to call their own.
Pence wants Indiana lawmakers to create a state tax credit to help support adoptive parents.
Pence has said he wants Indiana to become "the most pro-adoption state" in the country as he's unveiled his legislative agenda before the Indiana General Assembly convenes in January.
While this issue might not get the attention some of the other issues facing Hoosiers are sure to receive, it is an important cause that deserves consideration.
The governor is proposing a state tax credit aimed at helping parents offset adoption expenses.
Under his proposal, taxpayers benefiting from the federal adoption credit would be able to claim an additional credit on their state tax return. The state credit would be tied to up to 10 percent of the amount the taxpayer claims for the federal credit, according to Pence's "2014 Roadmap."
For 2012 tax returns, the federal government offered a maximum, nonrefundable credit of $12,650, with the amount increasing to $12,970 for 2013.
Pence also wants an interim study committee to explore faith-based and community adoption programs and how to better connect the state's adoption services.
Sharon Pierce, president and CEO of The Villages, the state's largest not-for-profit child and family services agency, said she is supportive of Pence's plan.
"We're very supportive of anything that would help encourage adoption and make Indiana more friendly to adoption," Pierce, said. "We all know there are literally thousands of children in the country, and we assume over 1,000 in Indiana to be in need of a forever family."
Pierce said the organization also would like to see lawmakers bring back a state adoption subsidy, which she said is especially helpful for families who adopt children with special needs.
There are so many issues facing children, from health care to education, but providing them with a caring and loving home is the most important.