Adoption in the News

Lest I ignore the original theme of this blog (adoption), I wanted to comment on three adoption related stories I read in the news in the past month or so.

Man adopts girlfriend

Really? Really!? Really!!!!? Ok, three’s enough. First, here’s the random thoughts. I naturally assumed that you could only adopt minors. What purpose does adopting an adult do? If this is possible, why wouldn’t some person just adopt like 50 college students, put them on his medical insurance and charge them all like $50 to do it? If he does go through and adopt his girlfriend, if they have, um, relations, is that now illegal?

It really irritates me that they would abuse adoption like this so they can save some money. They’re not saving from some faceless entity either, like the IRS or bill-collectors, but from the family of the person he killed. I don’t want adoption to be sullied by this guy.

Russia to halt U.S. adoptions

International adoptions are dropping, and it looks like Russian adoptions may be the next to go. They cite the number of children that are abused in our country(17). I don’t have the numbers for the rest of the country, whether that’s worse than the general populations, or how it compares to abuse in Russia. Obviously anything higher than zero is terrible, so don’t take my statistical view as cold. I just wonder if the loss of the large number of good parents is worth it? Is it just an excuse to stop sending children here?

One story in our adoption class talked about their adoption in that region. They had to go in front of a judge for a number of questions. One question was whether she would allow their adopted son to join the military. She gave the answer that was something like she couldn’t bear to lose him. The correct answer (which they were close enough to) was no. They did not want children born in their country potentially fighting against their birth land. One way to prevent that is to not let them go to another country.

Unfortunately, my guess is that the vetting process for international adoption is probably not as thorough as domestic, so the number of abusive homes may be higher for this reason. It’s sad that children are going to miss out on good parents because of some bad ones. (Of course the story of the parent that sent the boy back to Russia on a plane by himself doesn’t help the cause)

Adoption tax credit to expire

* The adoption credit. This tax credit — the single largest individual tax credit — helps adoptive parents cover the costs of adoption fees, court costs, attorneys fees and travel expenses associated with adoption. The credit was expanded in 2011, to a maximum of $13,360. For 2012, it returns to a lower level, of $12,650, and, without congressional action, it will expire at the end of the year.

Everyone’s favorite topic, taxes! For some perspective, the tax credit will not cover all our expenses, our costs will still be in the thousands after Uncle Sam helps us out. Many other agencies, especially international, the tax credit will be around or even less than half of the costs. This tax credit is not a racket that can be abused. It helps children, it helps parents, and helps society. I hope that this credit does get renewed.


One response

  1. The military question confuses me. If you adopt a child from another country he/she then becomes American and is then required to abide by all the laws that come with being an American, right? My kids are American but they are also Dutch. EVen so, we are required BY LAW to have our son register for the American military when he turns 18. All American males are listed in the event of a draft. So our son who has never lived in America could be called to war and we wouldn’t be able to stop it.. I suppose he could renounce his citizenship but that sure feels unfair. I guess I assume the same rule applies for adopted children.

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