Adoption Tax Credit Extended

20 12 2010

As of Friday, December 17, 2010 the adoption tax credit has been extended through December 31, 2012. There remains some confusion regarding the effect of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 which President Obama signed this past Friday. To provide some clarity, we offer the following which represents Joint Council’s understanding of the laws impact.

  • The adoption tax credit has been extended through December 31, 2012.
  • The refundability of the adoption tax credit will remain in effect for 2011.
  • The refundability expires on December 31, 2011 and will not be available for 2012.

The full text of the law can be found in Section 101 of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. We extend our appreciation to the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys for their assistance in providing this information.

2 1/2 Years and Still Waiting

11 05 2010

For the past 2.5 years, over 400 children have needlessly languished in orphanages or temporary foster care in Guatemala.   This past Thursday, the Guatemala 900, Joint Council and 31 families, brought the plight of these children to the Members of the U.S. Congress, Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, the Guatemalan Embassy and members of the press.

Representing The Children

During a 3-hour Congressional briefing, families who already adopted stood along side of those who continue their struggle to give over 400 Guatemalan children a loving, permanent and safe family.

After a 45 minute presentation on their 3-year struggle, family after family stood, demanded, asked, implored and even begged for the U.S. government to effectively work with the Guatemalan government to end the needless suffering of children.  The families presented specific requests of the U.S. government all of which reflected a request for the U.S. to use the same level of influence that was used by the U.S. in securing passage of the Guatemalan adoption law in 2007. Read the rest of this entry »

Congress to Clinton, Nepalitano and Shah – Protect the Children

21 01 2010

Moments ago, 50 Members of Congress published a letter requesting aid and security to Haitian children being adopted by U.S. families and to all orphans.  The letter states that the approval of humanitarian aid is only a first step in helping the children.  The full letter can be found here.

Thanks again to those Members of Congress who care enough to use their considerable influence to provide critically needed assistance to the children of Haiti.

More Support From Congress – Senator Gillibrand Speaks

21 01 2010

Thanks to Senator Gillibrand of New York for the following letter to Secretary Nepalitano!

January 19, 2010

Secretary Janet Napolitano
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528

Dear Secretary Napolitano:

I would like to thank you for your exceptional leadership in the wake of the humanitarian crisis that followed the recent earthquake in Haiti. Specifically, I would like to thank you for your response of granting humanitarian parole status to eligible Haitian children in the process of adoption by U.S. families, in order to ensure that they are not additionally harmed in the chaos following the earthquake.  Yet, I have noted two additional groups of children who require your attention. Read the rest of this entry »

Members of Congress – Thank You!

20 01 2010

All of us at Joint Council continued to be impressed and inspired by the dedication of so many wonderful individuals and institutions.  Our thoughts go first to the children.  Those who perished, those resilient ones who will thrive and those who will always need our special attention.

Then on to the adoptive families; committed, tenacious, loving – amazing.   And then to our dedicated colleagues at Member Organizations of Joint Council, our colleagues at AmeriCares, CCAI and the list could go on and on.   Our special thoughts are with those who are working in Haiti, with the people – our military, press, NGOs, government officials, volunteers – again a list that could run for miles.

But this post is for a group that might not be so obvious when we think of serving children.  Perhaps after this week, this group will be more prominent in our thoughts.

So much of what has happened this past week was only possible through the efforts of Members of Congress – and their very dedicated staff.  Everything from helping families locate their children to crafting child-centric policies, these Members of Congress truly stepped up to the plate.  You elected them to represent you and from our experience, they did that every day of this week.

So we extend our thanks to all Members of Congress who helped serve children and families and a special thanks to those with whom we worked the closest.

  • Senator Mary Landrieu, LA
  • Senator Robert Casey, PA
  • Senator Kit Bond, MO
  • Senator Mark Udall, CO
  • Senator James Inhofe, OK
  • Senator John Ensign, NV
  • Senator McCain, AZ
  • Representative Jim Cooper, TN
  • Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, WA
  • Representative Michele Bachmann

There are many more children that need food, water, shelter and love.  There is much to do.  And we are confident that these Members of Congress will be there with you and with the kids.

ISS Opposes Completing Adoptions

20 01 2010

International Social Service (ISS) has issued the following position statement regarding intercountry adoption.

In summary, the ISS position includes suspending adoptions without a full and final adoption decree issued by a Haitian court.   It is Joint Council’s assessment that suspending pending adoptions is overly restrictive and would subject vulnerable children to further victimization.  The ISS statement fails to consider the psychological and physical damage  when children are forced to remain without physical or psychological safety.

Joint Council will issue a complete statement shortly.

As in every dramatic event that affects a country, the question about the intercountry adoption of children arises again in the Haitian context.

In this regard, ISS / IRC first recalls that, in general, international adoption should not take place in a situation of war or natural disaster, given that these events make it impossible to verify the personal and family situation of children. Any operation to adopt or to evacuate children that are victims of the earthquake to another country must be absolutely avoided, as was the case during the 2004 tsunami. Read the rest of this entry »

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