Friday, March 18, 2011

Legislation Confusion

So one of many things I do to fill my time waiting is bugging my representative in DC. I've written Peter Welch again tonight. I wrote to him last summer only to receive very inaccurate information (his office informed me the only tax credits were for families adopting children over 12 or children with disabilities). I wrote back in October to inform his office that there was a tax refund that expired December 2011 but wanted to know if it had been extended. His office claimed to have attempted to contact me despite me calling weekly for 3 months. I finally spoke with someone in February. I cried on the phone (UGH!!) when I explained to his staffer that the legislation is just not fair.

1) Families adopting domestically and internationally get the same tax break. My problem with this is families that are adopting abroad are typically are spending more money to adopt children in countries other then our own. Women that place their child for adoption in the united states are doing so for many reasons but it always boils down to they are not in a place to raise a child. By creating an adoption plan she gives her child an opportunity to be raised by a family that is ready. If she raised the child despite feeling unprepared likely she would have required additional support from society to do so. By my raising the child everyone involved benefits (the woman, the child, my family, as well as society).

2) There is no legislation in that requires employers to give the same paid leave to their employees that adopt as those who give birth. Many employers provide paid leave through short term disability. As I will never become "disabled" when I have my child through adoption I do not get paid time off. I will take my time and it will be unpaid but I am fortunate that DH and I are on the same page in feeling that although it will be tough financially its important. I will not have had the benefit of bonding with my baby while he/she was in the womb so our first months together will be that much more important.

So after all of that... I learned tonight that it looks like the tax benefit was extended and signed into law by Obama in December of 2010 and will now expire in December 2012. I am not sure that it will be at the same level as the one that expires December 2011. So I had to write him again. I'm frustrated because at the point in which I spoke to his office in February the extension would already have been signed into law. Adoption benefits I think are lacking in our country. Canada it costs 10-15,000. In the UK its FREE. Based on my Blog statistics I know there are others from Europe that are reading the blog. How much is a domestic adoption for you? The United states the range is $5000 (the child likely has disabilities or expected disabilities) up to $40000+.

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