Montgomery – Families that adopt Alabama children may soon be eligible for a one-time $1,000 tax credit thanks to legislation sponsored by State Rep. Paul Lee (R – Dothan) and approved in the Alabama House by a 72 to 23 vote on Tuesday.
The bill, which now goes to the State Senate for consideration, is included in the House Republican Caucus’ Commonsense Conservative legislative agenda that was announced prior to the start of the 2014 regular session.
“My wife, Ellen, and I are the proud parents of a beautiful and loving adopted daughter, but many families that want to adopt are not as lucky as ours and struggle greatly with the associated costs involved,” Lee said. “By providing this tax credit, we can give hope to couples who desperately want to be parents, and we can open the door to permanent, loving homes for thousands of children who are currently in foster care and similar settings.”
The bill would allow an Alabama resident who adopts an Alabama child either through a private adoption or through the state foster care system a one-time $1,000 income tax credit during the tax year in which the adoption was finalized.
Because the tax credit is refundable, the recipient will receive the total amount of the tax credit, even if that amount exceeds their income tax liability for the year.
Lee noted that research indicates that a child’s educational progress and social and emotional bonds throughout life are largely determined by how soon they are placed in a permanent home.
While the record number of adoptions in Alabama over the past few years has helped provide a stable family environment for many children, Lee said that the tax credit will help those who are still awaiting placement.
“It’s important that every child feels worthy and wanted and receives the most basic human need – love,” Lee said. “Providing this tax credit is not only affordable for the state budget, but it is also the right and moral thing for us to do as neighbors, as friends, and as Alabamians.”
If the legislation is enacted into law, Alabama would join sixteen other states and the federal government in offering income tax credits for the adoption of a child.