Wisconsin Pro-Life Bill Would Provide Tax Credits for Adoption Expenses
by Maria Gallagher
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
February 12, 2004
Madison, WI (LifeNews.com) — A Wisconsin lawmaker is hoping to make life a little easier, financially speaking, for those who choose the "adoption option" within his state.
Senator Tom Reynolds (R-West Allis) is sponsoring a measure that would provide an individual state income tax credit for adoption expenses.
The legislation, known as SB 408, is being considered by the state Senate Health Committee.
"When Senator Reynolds contacted us last year about his plans to draft this legislation, we were extremely enthusiastic," said Susan Armacost, legislative director for Wisconsin Right to Life.
"There is much work that needs to be done in the area of adoption, not only from the perspective of those who wish to adopt a child but also from the perspective of the other parties involved in the adoption process," Armacost added.
"Senator Reynolds’ legislation addresses one of the many important adoption-related issues that need resolution," she said.
The Reynolds plan would set up a non-refundable individual state income tax credit of up to $5,000 for those who also claim a federal tax credit. The federal credit can amount to as much as $10,000.
For years, pro-life groups have characterized adoption as a viable, life-affirming alternative to abortion.
Last year, Armacost, representing Wisconsin Right to Life, served on a special study committee that investigated a number of issues surrounding the adoption process.
"Wisconsin Right to Life has long promoted adoption as a loving and compassionate alternative to abortion and has supported numerous proposals throughout the years to enhance the adoption process," Armacost said.
As Armacost noted, "Adoption can be extremely expensive. Senate Bill 408 would be of great benefit to those going through the adoption process."
Pro-life leaders note that tax credits are one valuable way that government at both the state and the federal level can encourage couples to adopt.
Wisconsin was notified last month it is the 43rd state to fail a federal review of its foster care system that set new, quicker timelines for when children must be freed for adoption or returned home.
The federal law, called the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, requires abused or neglected children be freed for adoption or returned home within 15 months, unless they have been placed with family members or authorities can show severing parental ties would harm the child.
Since the law, foster care adoptions increased 78 percent nationally from 1996 to 2000, records show.
Related web sites:
Wisconsin Right to Life – https://www.wrtl.org