Thursday, May 26, 2011

Every Single Child

A friend shared a very poigniant blog on Facebook today from Sarah Zuidema. In her blog she described a conference she attended where she heard about the tragic and horrible ways many of the world's children become orphaned, kidnapped and sold into slavery or left for dead. As anyone can admit, sometimes when we hear these things we want to look away, hide our eyes because it is too much to bear...and I completely agree. The atrocities that are happening to children are horrific! But then, she describes the courageous stories of people who, though they have little, take full advantage of everything they do have and make the effort to accomplish small but amazing things.

Even though this world is filled with 163 million orphans...even though they became orphans in sometimes horrific manner...there are many ways we can HELP. My motto: if you can help, then DO IT.

You don't have to adopt to help, but helping to find an orphan a home by contributing to an adoption fund, contributing to help keep a family together, or advocating for these beautiful children can make a difference.

The goal of the organization in which Sarah Zuidema's works is to find a family for the 163 million orphans worldwide...thats EVERY SINGLE CHILD find a family. Their goal is to provide love and security to all of the world's orphans. It's such a simple, beautiful and possible vision....but we have to work together!

Go hear to read the blog from Sarah Zuidema

Friday, May 6, 2011

You Can Afford International Adoption!! Tax Credits, Special Loans and More!

Did you know that you can get a tax credit of OVER $10,000 for adoption through the Hope for Children Act? Check out these websites for more information:

General Information about Tax Credit:

IRS Information about Tax Credit:

Information from the Washington Times on various ways of affording adoption:

As for help financing an adoption, there are myriad options that can offer some assistance.
There are loans designed exclusively for the purpose of adopting. Organizations like the National Adoption Foundation offer low and no-interest loans for adoptive families to spend on expenses.  They even have rates as a low as 0% foot the first six months. The hitch here is that the organization requires a donation in order to process loan applications.
A group called Lifelong for offers interest-free loans.

Tax Credits
Right now the federal government is offering substantial tax credits.  The adoption tax credit was extended and expanded by the healthcare legislation in 2010.  The adoption credit is calculated on Form 8839 Qualified Adoption Expenses (PDF). You may claim an adoption credit of up to $13,170 (for tax year 2010) per eligible child.
This is credit, meaning if you owe less than the credit, the government will send you a check for the remainder. This credit will sunset in 2013.  It will be reduced to $5,00 per adoption and $6,000 for special needs adoption. For more information, check out the Red Thread column on federal adoption tax credits.  
Many States offer extensive tax credits – up to $10,000. 
To learn more about your state's specific tax credits, contact your state Division of Family Services and State Tax Office to ask about tax credits for adoption and/or to find out if you qualify for any special state subsidy programs.  For more details on state adoption tax credits, see the recent Red Thread column on state adoption tax credits.

Many religious and non-profit organizations offer grants of anywhere from $200 to $5,000 to help defray adoption costs.  Although an online search can yield some results, try reaching out to your church or synagogue first since they are likely to be the biggest financial supporter in your community.

Employer Contributions
Many companies have adoption assistance programs (AAPs). Check with your employer’s human resource department to see if they have an AAP or other adoption assistance benefits.  To learn more about these programs, check out these resources:
or the Dave Thomas Foundation's Adoption-Friendly Employer List for important details.
Military, Nonrecurring Program

The U.S. government provides a one-time subsidy program to full-time military personnel.  Currently, adopting couples and singles can receive up to $2,000 per child per year with a $5,000 cap per member.  

Andrea is an adoptive mother and a journalist. She is at work on a book, "The Red Thread," a collection of stories told by families united through adoption. She is also owner of Media Branding International, a public relations/media consulting firm. Read more The Red Thread: An Adoptive Family Forum in The Communities at The Washington Times.