March 31, 2010

Considering adoption? What does the adoption tax credit mean to you?

taxesIf you are considering adopting a child this year, you'll be happy to hear the latest update on the adoption tax credit. The adoption tax credit has been extended for one more year, has increased, and you may even qualify for a refund!

The new tax credit provides not only a credit but a refund if you do not receive the $13,170 in tax credit. So instead of waiting perhaps up to five years to get your full tax credit, you can receive the credit as a refund if you do not pay $13,170 in taxes.

If you are considering adopting a child from China, for example, the fees and your expenses could work out to be about $23,000. When you deduct for the tax credit, which may also be a refund, you could really be paying about $9,830 in net costs. If you or your spouse’s company has employer-provided adoption benefits, which on average, tend to be about $5,000, you could end up having a net expense of about $4,830.

We recognize that in these uncertain economic times, $5,000 in out-of-packet expenses is still a lot of money, especially if you have other children. However, think of the other items for which you have been spending money that you could possibly do without for one year to make the difference in a child’s life— having a home or growing up in an orphanage.

If you could possibly spend $100 less per week, you could save $5,000 per year. You may ask, “How can I squeeze $100 out of my budget per week? We are tight already.” Yes, but $100 per week is just a little over $14 a day. Could you skip eating out for one meal and eat a little more frugally at home? Could you pack a lunch? If both you and your spouse did that, you could save close to $14 per day. Perhaps skipping that frappachino, a movie date here and there, and adjusting the temperature in your home could help you save this money.

familyNow, I am no expert in finances or how to save money. But I do know that whatever we are enjoying could never equal the joy of having a child in your home. And the child you adopt is living a life with far fewer of life’s comforts that any one of us—regardless of our financial status.

If you and your family sacrifice in little ways each day to bring a child into your home—as you eat a bagged lunch or drink regular coffee, instead of a cappuccino, you could be reminded of the small and not-so-small benefits that your waiting child does not have. Yes, your life can be a sacrifice for another.

At this Easter season, when we think of the ultimate sacrifice, we can be reminded how we can make changes in our lives that bring the love of Christ to others.

What sacrifices could we make to adopt or help an orphan?

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