We are hometown news

Local non-profit aids parents with adoption efforts

SOUTHWICK Have you thought about adoption but decided not to move forward because of the cost? The cost of adoption can be staggering, depending on the type of adoption you seek. Foster care adoptions have nominal fees, while international and domestic adoptions have costs that can range from $10,000 to $40,000. There are many reasons why you should reconsider, not the least of which is a child who needs a "forever family" to love them unconditionally. You should be aware that there are resources available to help you afford the cost of adoption. Did you know you may be able to take a federal tax credit for qualifying expenses paid to adopt an eligible child (including a child with special needs)? The adoption credit is an amount subtracted from your tax liability. For 2009, the maximum adoption credit increased to $12,150. These amounts are phased out if your modified AGI is between $182,180 and $222,180. You cannot claim the credit or exclusion if your modified AGI is $222,180 or more. Check out IRS' Web site for additional information at www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc607.html. Some employers also offer adoption assistance programs. Check with your Human Resources department to see if they offer adoption assistance as an employee benefit. If not, ask them if they will consider adding the program to their employee benefits package. Locally, you can check out the Good Morning Adoption Fund to see if you qualify for one of their adoption assistance grants. The Good Morning Adoption Fund raises money to help qualifying adoptive parent(s) afford the cost of adoption. They provide $2,500 and $5,000 grants to qualifying parent(s) who want to adopt but need financial assistance. To date, the Good Morning Adoption Fund grants have helped seven families adopt 10 children. The deadline for the next grant application submission is March 15. Go to the GMAF's Web site for eligibility requirements www.goodmorningadoptionfund.com/grants.php.