With all the hurt in our world, it sometimes feels there are more things to mourn than celebrate. But today, the U.S. Congress gave us good reason to cheer. The adoption tax credit – which provides substantive support for families when they welcome a child into their home – was preserved. It had been slated for elimination in the tax reform moving through Congress, but (barring further revisions) now will continue to incentivize and support adoption for years to come.
CAFO joined with a wide coalition of organizations to defend the adoption tax credit. As described by The Hill, religious groups played a central role in the rescue – arguing for the credit as a pro-family, pro-life commitment.
In Congress, Representatives Mike Kelly, Diane Black, Danny Davis and Trent Franks – who spoke at the CAFO Summit a few years ago – played especially key roles. Senator Jim Lankford, who recorded a powerful video message for last year’s Orphan Sunday, stood for the tax credit as well. Meanwhile, leading Christian voices from Russell Moore to Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman – both of whom participated in the CAFO Summit last year – urged that the credit be preserved.
Christianity Today conveys the news with a well-written history of the credit and details of the recent clash in Washington over preserving it.
Of course, those who proposed eliminating the credit weren’t anti-adoption. They simply wanted to lower taxes for all families, and so proposed spreading the savings widely. And they are right – making the tax code simpler and lowering everyone’s tax burden is a pro-family policy, too.
Encouraging and supporting adoption is about our nation’s character and core commitments. It is in everyone’s interest to ensure that children who need families can find them.
But I’d argue that it would be a mistake to see the adoption tax credit as a “tax reform issue.” Rather, encouraging and supporting adoption is about our nation’s character and core commitments. Despite all our disagreements, Americans recognize that neither society nor individuals can thrive without healthy families. We believe deep down it is right for every child to grow up in a family. And we see that when children grow up as part of a “system” rather than part of a family, the dark consequences impact both children and society. So we believe it is in everyone’s interest to ensure that children who need families can find them.
America re-affirmed that commitment today. In fact, from all I saw, the threat to the tax credit ultimately served to remind America how deeply we care about family. And that’s something to celebrate!