Finance

Adoption tax credit restored after conservative backlash

A tax credit for adoptive families has been retained in both the House and Senate GOP tax bills, following pushback from socially conservative lawmakers and anti-abortion groups.

The credit was initially removed in the House version of the legislation, but an amendment released Thursday from Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) retained it.

Preserving the credit "will ensure that parents can continue to receive additional tax relief as they open their hearts and their homes to an adopted child," Brady said Thursday during the fourth day of the committee markup.

The Senate legislation also preserves the credit, Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) said. The bill is set to be unveiled Thursday.

Religious groups, as well as House and Senate conservatives, pushed for the credit to be retained. They argued that by eliminating the credit, the bill went against the GOP's anti-abortion platform.

The credit provides up to $13,570 in tax savings per adopted child. Keeping the credit will cost $3.8 billion over ten years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.

Initially, Brady said the House bill eliminated the deduction because only wealthier families who adopted were able to benefit from it, since the credit is only available to people who itemize their deductions.

House conservatives praised the decision to retain the credit.

"By helping remove financial barriers for families to adopt, Chairman Brady has written an outstandingly holistic pro-life and pro-family bill," Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), co-chairman of the House Pro-Life Caucus, said in a statement.

"The adoption tax credit has enormous symbolic, practical and humanitarian meaning and purpose, and I am deeply grateful that it's been preserved in the tax plan and for all of those who acted to preserve it," Franks added.

Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker (R-N.C.) also commended Brady, saying in a statement "the adoption tax credit is pro-life and pro-family."

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