Federal Adoption Tax Credit for 2018

WHAT IS THE ADOPTION TAX CREDIT?

Introduced in 1997, the adoption tax credit’s purpose is to make adoption more affordable. As part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, the adoption tax credit became a permanent law.

The adoption tax credit is available to those who adopt privately, both domestic and international, as well as through an agency, or through foster care. The credit is not available for step-parent adoptions.

Remember, a tax credit is different than a tax deduction—it’s better! A credit is an amount that is subtracted from your tax liability. The adoption tax credit is also NOT A REFUND. The credit is applied against what you owe in taxes to the federal government.

HOW MUCH IS THE ADOPTION TAX CREDIT?

For the year 2018, the maximum allowed for adoption tax credit is $13,810 per child. The credit phases out for families with higher levels of income. Under the 2018 adoption tax credit formula, adopting parents who earn no more than $207,140 are entitled to take the full credit. For adopting parents who earn between $207,140 and $247,140 in income, there is a reduced tax credit, and no tax credit is available for those earning more than $247,140.

WHICH ADOPTION EXPENSES CAN BE CLAIMED?

The adoption credit is offered for “qualified adoption expenses.” Qualified adoption expenses include:

• reasonable and necessary adoption fees;
• court costs and attorney’s fees;
• adoption travel costs (including meals and lodging); and
• other expenses that are directly related to adoption.

Remember, it is important to keep all invoices and receipts for fees and costs as well as court documents and agency agreements related to your adoption. There is no requirement to attach the adoption expense documentation with your tax return. You must, however, keep the documentation as part of your own records as you may be audited by the IRS for authenticity.

Some employers offer an adoption assistance program for adoptive parents. If the adopted child does not have special needs, those expenses paid for by the employer would not be qualified adoption expenses for purposes of the adoption tax credit.

WHAT IF I ADOPT A CHILD WHO HAS SPECIAL NEEDS?

For parents who adopt children with special needs, the full credit of $13,810 may be allowed for the adoption even if you do not have any qualified expenses at all or if you have benefited from your employer’s adoption assistance program.

For purposes of the adoption tax credit, a child has special needs if:

  • the child is a citizen or resident of the United States when the adoption effort began;

  • a state determines that the child cannot or should not be returned to his or her parents’ home; and

  • the state determines that the child probably will not be adoptable without assistance provided to the adoptive family.

In other words, for adoption tax credit purposes, “special needs adoptions” are generally children in foster care and are not necessarily children who have disabilities.

WHEN CAN I CLAIM THE CREDIT?

The tax year you claim the credit depends on when the expenses were paid, whether the adoption is domestic or international, and when the adoption is finalized.

In a domestic adoption, qualified adoption expenses paid before the year the adoption becomes final are allowable as credit for the tax year following the year of payment regardless of whether the adoption is finalized. In an international adoption, qualified adoption expenses paid before and during the year are allowable as a credit for the year the adoption becomes final. Once an adoption is finalized, qualified adoption expenses paid during or after the year of the finalization are allowable as a credit for the year of the payment, regardless of whether the adoption is domestic or international.

It is also very important to note that any credit in excess of your tax liability may be carried forward for up to five years.

HOW DO I CLAIM THE ADOPTION TAX CREDIT?

To claim the credit or exclusion, complete Form 8839, Qualified Adoption Expenses, and attach the form to your Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

HOW DOES THE ADOPTION TAX CREDIT WORK?

For example, a family does their 2018 federal taxes and finds they owe $5,000 in taxes and is eligible for the full tax credit of $13,810. Therefore, they may apply the credit against their tax liability and pay zero in federal taxes for the year. In addition, they may carry over $8,810 to apply against their tax liability for the next five years.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE ADOPTION TAX CREDIT VISIT: https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc607.html

*Please note: We are not financial advisors or tax preparers. This advice should be considered general guidance only and not professional advice or as a substitute for IRS instructions. Be sure to check with the appropriate tax advisor, or other professional for your specific situation.

*Please also note: This information is relevant to families considering the adoption tax credit for the 2018 tax year. Rules and eligibility have changed over the years and are not documented in this article. 

Federal Adoption Tax Credit for 2018

WHAT IS THE ADOPTION TAX CREDIT?

Introduced in 1997, the adoption tax credit’s purpose is to make adoption more affordable. As part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, the adoption tax credit became a permanent law.

The adoption tax credit is available to those who adopt privately, both domestic and international, as well as through an agency, or through foster care. The credit is not available for step-parent adoptions.

Remember, a tax credit is different than a tax deduction—it’s better! A credit is an amount that is subtracted from your tax liability. The adoption tax credit is also NOT A REFUND. The credit is applied against what you owe in taxes to the federal government.

HOW MUCH IS THE ADOPTION TAX CREDIT?

For the year 2018, the maximum allowed for adoption tax credit is $13,810 per child. The credit phases out for families with higher levels of income. Under the 2018 adoption tax credit formula, adopting parents who earn no more than $207,140 are entitled to take the full credit. For adopting parents who earn between $207,140 and $247,140 in income, there is a reduced tax credit, and no tax credit is available for those earning more than $247,140.

WHICH ADOPTION EXPENSES CAN BE CLAIMED?

The adoption credit is offered for “qualified adoption expenses.” Qualified adoption expenses include:

• reasonable and necessary adoption fees;
• court costs and attorney’s fees;
• adoption travel costs (including meals and lodging); and
• other expenses that are directly related to adoption.

Remember, it is important to keep all invoices and receipts for fees and costs as well as court documents and agency agreements related to your adoption. There is no requirement to attach the adoption expense documentation with your tax return. You must, however, keep the documentation as part of your own records as you may be audited by the IRS for authenticity.

Some employers offer an adoption assistance program for adoptive parents. If the adopted child does not have special needs, those expenses paid for by the employer would not be qualified adoption expenses for purposes of the adoption tax credit.

WHAT IF I ADOPT A CHILD WHO HAS SPECIAL NEEDS?

For parents who adopt children with special needs, the full credit of $13,810 may be allowed for the adoption even if you do not have any qualified expenses at all or if you have benefited from your employer’s adoption assistance program.

For purposes of the adoption tax credit, a child has special needs if:

  • the child is a citizen or resident of the United States when the adoption effort began;

  • a state determines that the child cannot or should not be returned to his or her parents’ home; and

  • the state determines that the child probably will not be adoptable without assistance provided to the adoptive family.

In other words, for adoption tax credit purposes, “special needs adoptions” are generally children in foster care and are not necessarily children who have disabilities.

WHEN CAN I CLAIM THE CREDIT?

The tax year you claim the credit depends on when the expenses were paid, whether the adoption is domestic or international, and when the adoption is finalized.

In a domestic adoption, qualified adoption expenses paid before the year the adoption becomes final are allowable as credit for the tax year following the year of payment regardless of whether the adoption is finalized. In an international adoption, qualified adoption expenses paid before and during the year are allowable as a credit for the year the adoption becomes final. Once an adoption is finalized, qualified adoption expenses paid during or after the year of the finalization are allowable as a credit for the year of the payment, regardless of whether the adoption is domestic or international.

It is also very important to note that any credit in excess of your tax liability may be carried forward for up to five years.

HOW DO I CLAIM THE ADOPTION TAX CREDIT?

To claim the credit or exclusion, complete Form 8839, Qualified Adoption Expenses, and attach the form to your Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

HOW DOES THE ADOPTION TAX CREDIT WORK?

For example, a family does their 2018 federal taxes and finds they owe $5,000 in taxes and is eligible for the full tax credit of $13,810. Therefore, they may apply the credit against their tax liability and pay zero in federal taxes for the year. In addition, they may carry over $8,810 to apply against their tax liability for the next five years.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE ADOPTION TAX CREDIT VISIT: https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc607.html

*Please note: We are not financial advisors or tax preparers. This advice should be considered general guidance only and not professional advice or as a substitute for IRS instructions. Be sure to check with the appropriate tax advisor, or other professional for your specific situation.

*Please also note: This information is relevant to families considering the adoption tax credit for the 2018 tax year. Rules and eligibility have changed over the years and are not documented in this article. 

Parenting A Multi-Racial Family

mixed race hands.jpg

Today’s world of multi-cultural, bi-racial, trans-national and blended families creates new challenges in parenting. As a white mother of two white sons, I do not pretend to have first hand knowledge of the special issues that arise when parenting a child of different racial and cultural heritage. To help me understand the issues and the conflicts multiracial families face, I have listened to and read the work of many experts and absorbed the personal stories shared by my clients. Their insights and suggestions have been thoughtful and eye opening. The following is my attempt to share some of their wisdom. I hope it can be helpful to all of us. 

Talk, communicate, discuss and talk some more! Talking about race, as a white person, is often challenging for lack of experience and fear of getting it wrong. However, there is no such thing as being “color blind”. Pretending racism does not exist in our world is unhealthy for your child and potentially dangerous. When a child is very young, their focus is centered on their family. Your child may express that he wishes he looked more like you. This is a wonderful opportunity to let him know you validate who he is and  that you would not want to change one thing about him! Celebrating one’s differences does not just mean celebrating the cultural aspects of a different ethnicity. You may want to educate yourselves on the ways your child’s ethnicity, race and culture developed differently from yours. This is a perfect time to dig into your ancestry and when, how and why your family came to America, as well as your child’s ethnic ancestry. Share your ancestry with your children. Very few of us had ancestors on the Mayflower!

As they age, children live more in the world and race begins to matter. Children learn about colors in pre-school and they know we are not all the same color. Particularly in school, children become aware of their differences on a daily basis, whether it be the shape of their eyes, skin color, hair style, even religion. It is critical for all parents to learn to talk about race. All of our identities are valuable and should be honored, not swept under a rug by pretending we are the same. Racism exists and if a parent leads the way in recognizing it and addressing it, the child will know their home and family is a safe space, where they can talk about the tough stuff. As children get older and experience racism in the outside world, it is healthy for them to be able to bring these issues home and express themselves freely in their family. If they cannot come home with their troubles, they are in danger of internalizing and absorbing the racism as personal. The lesson I heard over and over was “do not wait until your children are old enough” to talk about race.

Does your home reflect your and your children’s race? The art, books, children’s movies, media such as television should reflect all members of the family throughout your home. Does the family in your daughter’s dollhouse look like your family? Multi-racial books and toys, artwork throughout the house, not just in the child’s room, affirms for your child that the whole family cares about race and it is not just important to her. Is your child isolated in a white community? Introduce role models who share the same racial background as your child. It is not enough to expose your children to famous actors or sports figures of the same race. Role models can be friends, teachers, doctors, coaches, clergy and others who have a real role in your child’s life and with whom they can connect in a real way. 

Remember children like to fit in. Hairstyles often bring up issues in trans-racial adoption. Are you imposing generational or white prejudices on what is “good” or “bad” hair or what style looks pretty? Style is important to children of all ages. Your child may want her hair to reflect what she sees in her world, on TV, at school, or in her community. At the same time, parents should keep in mind that some style choices may not be the most practical. While braids and beads might not fit comfortably under an ice hockey helmet, they might be the best style if your child is on the swim team. Parenting professionals say the key is to remain child focused with this issue. Children should feel proud of how they look, how they perceive they fit in and of who they are.

How does a parent help his child cope with prejudice? It is critical for your child to learn to trust that you are open to discussing these issues. Respect for ourselves and for others starts at home. It is far safer and healthier for your child to talk openly with you about how to deal with ignorance and racism, than for her to feel she is alone and that no one in her family would understand if she encounters it in her outside world. Find supportive friends or family members, especially other parents, to help you manage issues that you have never had to consider. Trans-racial families face unique issues at all stages of child development. During every step of the journey, families should share a commitment to having open communication, listening and forever honoring and celebrating our differences. 

There are numerous, wonderful resources you can find on these issues. We would like to share and recommend the following wonderful resources: Multiracialsky.com, Inside Transracial Adoption by Gail Steinberg & Beth Hall and What Do I Say Now by Carol Bick and M.C. Baker. 
    

    


 

Even with Landmark Decision for Same Sex Parents in New York, Second Parent Adoption is Indispensable

Let me start with the legal truth that an adoptive parent is a legal parent and has the same rights and responsibilities toward his or her child as a biological parent. 

On August 30, 2016, the New York State Court of Appeals ruled decisively in favor of parenting rights for unmarried, same sex couples.  In The Matter of Brooke S. B. versus Elizabeth A., the Court ruled that with respect to an unmarried couple, a partner with a non-biological, non-adoptive relationship to the couple’s child may be legally recognized as a parent and allowed to seek custody and visitation rights.  The non-biological, non-adoptive partner, however, must show by clear and convincing evidence that the parties agreed to conceive and raise the child together to establish his/her right to custody and visitation.

While this ruling is good news for non-biological parents and non-adoptive partners, relying on the new precedent and forgoing adoption may be dangerous.  It is true that along with marriage equality, many states have begun to recognize a more modern and flexible definition of who is a legal parent.  Laws on same sex parenting, however, still vary from state to state.   The fact remains, that only an adoptive parent of a non-biological child has the same unequivocal rights and responsibilities toward his or her child as a biological parent.  

Adopting your non-biological child is safe, responsible parenting.  It can be accomplished quickly and inexpensively.  No one wants to be kept away from his or her child pending the outcome of a lengthy custody battle.  Obtaining the second parent adoption order saves one from the burden of proving his or her status as a parent in the event of divorce, separation, and even death of a partner.  I envision scenarios where the couple separates and the biological parent moves with the child to a state with less friendly parenting laws, or passes away, and the extended family claims custody of the child over the non-biological partner.  Adoptions are court orders, which all states are required, by the Full Faith and Credit Clause, of the Unites States Constitution, to recognize.   This guarantees a parent’s rights and takes the guesswork out of whether one has standing to sue for custody of one’s child.

An adoptive parent is a legal parent and may make all the same decisions for the child as the biological parent.  An adoptive parent has the right to make decisions concerning the child’s education, health and medical well - being.   An adoptive parent is financially responsible for the child and the child is able to inherit from his or her adoptive parent even in the absence of a will.  A non-adoptive parent may find obstacles in claiming his child as a dependent for health or tax benefits and may not even be allowed to provide permission for school field trips.

The requirements to complete a second parent adoption in New York are not lengthy.  They are the same requirements for a step-parent adoption among married couples.   You will need to retain an attorney and obtain a home study from a licensed social worker.  The court will require medical and financial updates, letters of reference and criminal and abuse background checks.  Your attorney will prepare several affidavits and a petition for adoption for your signature.  The court will hold a 5-10 minute finalization hearing, at which you will be invited to bring friends and family to witness and celebrate the adoption.   The whole process should not take more than 4-6 months.  The benefits, however, exist for a lifetime.   Your family is worth it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/31/nyregion/new-york-court-parental-rights.html

https://www.nycourts.gov/ctapps/Decisions/2016/Aug16/91-92opn16-Decision.pdf

http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2016/08/30/in_new_york_a_landmark_ruling_for_estranged_gay_and_lesbian_parents.html

Even with Landmark Decision for Same Sex Parents in New York, Second Parent Adoption is Indispensable

Let me start with the legal truth that an adoptive parent is a legal parent and has the same rights and responsibilities toward his or her child as a biological parent. 

On August 30, 2016, the New York State Court of Appeals ruled decisively in favor of parenting rights for unmarried, same sex couples.  In The Matter of Brooke S. B. versus Elizabeth A., the Court ruled that with respect to an unmarried couple, a partner with a non-biological, non-adoptive relationship to the couple’s child may be legally recognized as a parent and allowed to seek custody and visitation rights.  The non-biological, non-adoptive partner, however, must show by clear and convincing evidence that the parties agreed to conceive and raise the child together to establish his/her right to custody and visitation.

While this ruling is good news for non-biological parents and non-adoptive partners, relying on the new precedent and forgoing adoption may be dangerous.  It is true that along with marriage equality, many states have begun to recognize a more modern and flexible definition of who is a legal parent.  Laws on same sex parenting, however, still vary from state to state.   The fact remains, that only an adoptive parent of a non-biological child has the same unequivocal rights and responsibilities toward his or her child as a biological parent.  

Adopting your non-biological child is safe, responsible parenting.  It can be accomplished quickly and inexpensively.  No one wants to be kept away from his or her child pending the outcome of a lengthy custody battle.  Obtaining the second parent adoption order saves one from the burden of proving his or her status as a parent in the event of divorce, separation, and even death of a partner.  I envision scenarios where the couple separates and the biological parent moves with the child to a state with less friendly parenting laws, or passes away, and the extended family claims custody of the child over the non-biological partner.  Adoptions are court orders, which all states are required, by the Full Faith and Credit Clause, of the Unites States Constitution, to recognize.   This guarantees a parent’s rights and takes the guesswork out of whether one has standing to sue for custody of one’s child.

An adoptive parent is a legal parent and may make all the same decisions for the child as the biological parent.  An adoptive parent has the right to make decisions concerning the child’s education, health and medical well - being.   An adoptive parent is financially responsible for the child and the child is able to inherit from his or her adoptive parent even in the absence of a will.  A non-adoptive parent may find obstacles in claiming his child as a dependent for health or tax benefits and may not even be allowed to provide permission for school field trips.

The requirements to complete a second parent adoption in New York are not lengthy.  They are the same requirements for a step-parent adoption among married couples.   You will need to retain an attorney and obtain a home study from a licensed social worker.  The court will require medical and financial updates, letters of reference and criminal and abuse background checks.  Your attorney will prepare several affidavits and a petition for adoption for your signature.  The court will hold a 5-10 minute finalization hearing, at which you will be invited to bring friends and family to witness and celebrate the adoption.   The whole process should not take more than 4-6 months.  The benefits, however, exist for a lifetime.   Your family is worth it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/31/nyregion/new-york-court-parental-rights.html

https://www.nycourts.gov/ctapps/Decisions/2016/Aug16/91-92opn16-Decision.pdf

http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2016/08/30/in_new_york_a_landmark_ruling_for_estranged_gay_and_lesbian_parents.html

People Say the Darndest Things!

unwelcome comments to adoptive parents.jpg

Being an adopted child or an adoptive parent can invite strange and unwelcome comments from strangers, as well as family and friends. Sometimes it is helpful to be ready with an easy answer, so that you, or your child, do not feel defensive or angry. Your child may be asked questions about her “real parents” or “real family”, especially if he is of different racial background or the adopted child of a same sex couple. It may be difficult to avoid the unwelcome comments and questions, but you can be a positive role model for your child and for adoption if you think about your response and reply calmly.

One insensitive and particularly galling question is “Why would you want someone else’s child?” It takes a lot of patience to smile and say, “Alex is my child and I love being his parent”. When others speak in terms of your child’s “real parent”, it is helpful to educate them to understand that your child had a birth family, or a first family and that you are her parent and forever family. A child might be asked who or where her “real family” is. It is helpful for her to know that while she had a first or birth family, you are her real and forever family. After a stranger nosily insisted that her daughter looked nothing like her, one adoptive mother smiled and said, “I know. Sara is so cute, I wish I looked more like her!”

A foster father once told me his foster son was confused about who his Daddy is. This Dad gently explained to his foster son that a Daddy is someone who makes him breakfast and dinner, and special treats, reads him books, plays with him and is always there, everyday, to hug and love him. 

Gay Morrissey, LMSW, is a social worker in private practice and has been performing home study reports, in New York, for the past 25 years. Gay is also an adoptive mother of two adult daughters, Kate, 27, and Liz, 25, whom she and her husband adopted as infants. Gay explains, “Children figure out how to respond to questions about adoption in a way that is unique to their personalities. Kate to this day is more likely to ‘go to task’, and Liz is much more likely to ‘let things roll’”. Gay shared that she told her girls their adoption stories from the earliest of ages. As the girls grew older, Gay explained that some people, adults and children alike, ask questions about adoption simply out of curiosity and often out of ignorance. Gay counseled her girls, and numerous adoptive families, that we should practice what to say when asked a difficult question, but more importantly that we know how to talk about our family’s adoption story with each other. Of course, every chance she gets, Gay reminds her girls that she and her husband are lucky to have them as their daughters! 

People are generally well meaning but can say hurtful things out of ignorance. I am told clients have actually been asked how much their child cost! It takes a very strong and patient person to calmly answer that one! Sometimes less is more and maybe, in such a situation, you can find the inner peace to suggest the questioner research different agencies and call a few adoption attorneys to get a sense of adoption expenses. Adoption is a wonderful avenue to becoming parents and while you may not have signed on to be an adoption advocate, our community and our children become stronger and better understood when we speak of adoption in a positive manner.

Interstate Adoption

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How does one adopt a baby or child from another state? If you are working with a national agency, chances are you will be traveling to another state to meet your birth mother and new baby. A large number of private adoptions also happen across state lines. Whether you are flying across the country, or driving twenty minutes to your neighboring state, you will need to comply with the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) before you may bring your new baby home.

ICPC is a legal agreement between all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the US Virgin Islands, enacted to ensure that children being adopted across state lines were going to safe and suitable homes. Adoption laws are widely variable from state to state. Because there is no federal law regulating adoption, an ICPC office is set up in each state to review specific paperwork for each non-relative, interstate adoption placement. The state where the birth mother resides is referred to as the “sending state”. The adoptive family’s state of residence is called the “receiving state”. ICPC administrators are tasked with making sure the laws and regulations in both states have been followed before they allow the adoptive parents to travel home with their new baby.

Your lawyer or agency will prepare a packet of documents for the ICPC administrators to review. The process is primarily the same in each state, but because the state laws differ there are occasionally variations in what the ICPC offices require. When you have an out of state adoption plan, you should always prepare to be out of state for at least two weeks once your baby is born. The ICPC process can take less than a week, up to two weeks, or even longer. There are many factors which influence the length of the ICPC process.

Generally, the steps in an across state lines adoption include the following:

1. The adoptive parents will travel to the sending state before, or once, the baby is born.

2. The baby is discharged from the hospital usually into the adoptive parent’s custody.

3. There may be a waiting period before the birth parents are legally allowed to consent to the adoption. A signed consent is mandatory for ICPC.

4. Your attorney, working in conjunction with the birth parent’s attorney, will submit the necessary ICPC paperwork and supporting documents to the sending state’s ICPC office. This paperwork includes the home study, certification as qualified adoptive parents, medical records on the baby, the birth parent’s consent, information on how the adoption plan was conceived and an accounting of fees or expenses paid by the adoptive parents.

5. The sending state approves the ICPC request and sends it to the receiving state, which then conducts a similar review.

6. Occasionally, one of the ICPC administrators will request additional information. For example, if the baby was born with a medical disability, or drugs in his system, ICPC will want to see an affidavit from the adoptive parents that they have been fully informed of the medical health of the child and attendant risks and that they accept the risks.

7. Once the sending state approves the ICPC request, the administrator will contact the adoptive family’s attorney, who then contacts the adoptive parents that they have been cleared to take their new baby home.

ICPC approval means a potential stay out of town with a newborn baby for a week, maybe longer. There are several factors that contribute to the period of time it takes to obtain ICPC approval. In some states, a birth mother must sign her relinquishment of rights in court in order for the consent to the adoption to be valid. In other states, such as New York, the birth mother may sign her consent as soon as the baby is born and while she has 45 days to revoke her consent, the ICPC paperwork may be filed as soon as she signs. It often takes a day or two to obtain medical records from the hospital where the baby was born. ICPC packets may not be filed without a complete set of the baby’s medical information. In addition, it generally takes a day or two for the attorney or adoption agency to complete the file and submit all necessary documents. Of course, there is always the variable in how fully staffed an ICPC office is and whether the baby is born on or around a government holiday or weekend.

Preparation is important! Adoptive parents are wise to find a comfortable extended stay hotel and bring an infant car seat with them when they travel to their baby’s birth state. If you have special medicines or dietary concerns, pack wisely and take what you would need for potentially 2-3 weeks. It is always everyone’s intention to get the new family home as quickly as possible, but it is wise to plan ahead.

What's New in Adoption and Foster Care in 2019

What's New in Adoption and Foster Care

A major overhaul of Georgia’s adoption law went into effect in September 2018. The new law reduces the revocation period for a birth mother’s consent, as well as the Georgia residency requirements. Specifically, the law shortens the time allowed for a birth mother to revoke her consent to the adoption from ten (10) days to four (4) days. In addition, birth mothers are now allowed to seek reimbursement from adoptive parents for basic living expenses in both private and agency adoptions. The new law also eliminates a requirement that individuals in Georgia must be residents for six months prior to adopting. These laws, which had not been updated since 1990, are now more similar to laws in multiple other states.

Family Match is a new website that uses algorithms and compatibility technology to match adoptive parents and foster children. There are nearly a half million children in the U.S. foster system, with a quarter of them freed for adoption without connections to families in waiting. This program, launched in 2018 by Adoption Share, is bringing children and adoptive parents together. Currently, Florida and Virginia participate in the program and Tennessee and Kentucky are expected to come on board soon. We will keep you posted as we make progress on getting New York to follow suit.

Hoosiers are the beneficiary of a new Indiana law that went into effect in 2018. Birth records of adoptees, adopted prior to 1994 are now afforded the same rights as those adopted since 1994, which means they are able to obtain information about their original birth certificates, biological parents and medical histories unless a biological parent has requested the file remain closed. The adoptee must be at least 18 years of age. The new law is estimated to affect more than 40,000 individuals adopted in the state.

Adoption Books

Since 1994, Tapestry Books has been a leading literary source for adoptive families, birth families, adoptees, and adoption professionals. Hand picked by the team at Tapestry Books, enjoy this carefully selected mix of best sellers about adoption as well as publications for the whole family that last a lifetime. Click on an image if you are interested in purchasing the book online.

You can learn more about Tapestry Books at http://www.tapestrybooks.com. Their phone number is 716-544-0204 and they are happy to make more recommendations.

Enjoy!

ABC Adoption & Me


by Gayle Swift



A wonderfully simple children’s book that is perfect for younger children. This book artfully introduces the concept of adoption to young readers.

Inside Transracial Adoption


by Beth Hall and Gail Steinberg



Inside Transracial Adoption is an authoritative guide to navigating the challenges and issues that parents face in the USA when they adopt a child of a different race and/or from a different culture..

What Do I Say Now?

by M.C. Baker and Carol Bick



This is a Tapestry Books’ favorite! This book brilliantly details how to respond to awkward and difficult questions about adoption.

Three Little Words

by Ashley Rhodes Courtier



This a wonderfully written account of a young girl’s experience in the foster care system and how she overcame the many obstacles she faced growing up.

Ithaka

by Sarah Saffian



Sarah Saffian recreates her personal account of reuiniting with her birth family as an adult. Saffian expertly describes the adoptee perspective as well as the emotions associated with finding the missing pieces of one’s identity.