Being pro-life does not have to mean a mother has to raise her child if she’s not ready to be a parent. There’s no better time to remind us all of that than during National Adoption Month.
Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) is on the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth as well as the Pro-Life Caucus. She released a special message on behalf of National Adoption month, and called on the passage of her bill, the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act of 2015.
Rep. Black’s office provided a transcript of her video recorded message:
Hi, I’m Congressman Diane Black. This November is National Adoption Month.
It is a time to celebrate the lives that have been transformed through adoption, but also a sobering reminder of the more than 108,000 children in our nation’s foster care system who are still waiting on their forever family.
We know that there are parents across this country who have room in their hearts to adopt, but who may not have room in their budget. In fact, almost half of all children adopted from foster care live in households with incomes at or below 200 percent of the poverty line.
We can’t change the high cost of adoption overnight, but we can ensure that our tax laws provide some help to offset that expense. The federal government offers an adoption tax credit, but it is not fully refundable. That means it disadvantages those at lower income levels who need this savings tool the most. In fact, a family with a household income of $35,000 or less receives no benefit from this credit at all.
That is why I introduced the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act. This bipartisan bill would give every family access to the adoption tax credit – regardless of income.
Earlier this month, I met an inspiring adoptive family who told me their story of adoption and the difference that a fully refundable adoption tax credit could make in the lives of other parents like them.
This the Owens Family. Following the untimely passing of their precious three and a half year-old boy, they felt a calling on their life to adopt a child with special needs. Fast forward a few years and they are the proud parents of five – with four of their children added to their family through the miracle of adoption. Without making the adoption tax credit fully refundable, families like theirs don’t benefit.
Adoption is a beautiful choice for any parent to make, and we should make sure that our tax laws work for these families – not against them. This National Adoption Month, let’s resolve to match more children with moms and dads. Let’s stand on the side of parents like the Owens family, who have opened their hearts to adoption and are simply asking Washington not to stand in the way. And let’s make the adoption tax credit fully refundable.
Black also did appeal to the pro-life movement specifically with her op-ed for IJ Review, “Why Adoption Needs To Be At the Core of the Pro-Life Movement.”
November is National Adoption Month, and an important time to reaffirm that adoption must be at the heart of the pro-life movement. Those of us who maintain the dignity and God-given potential of every human life have a responsibility to engage in this effort. It is not enough to be ‘pro-birth,’ we must indeed show that we are pro-life and pro-quality of life after a child comes into this world.
Another pro-abort talking point we are used to hearing is why pro-lifers don’t adopt more babies more often. Black addresses this point as well:
Of course, not all of us will be called to adopt. I know this full well as a one-time single, working mother of three children. While adoption was not feasible for me during those years, God has opened doors of opportunity to make a difference later in life – first through Decisions, Choices, and Options, and now with respect to changing how our tax laws treat adoptive parents.
Both the caucus and the bill are bi-partisan, which shows that choosing life by choosing adoption need not be a politicized issue.