Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Federal Adoption Tax Credit

What is the Current Status of the Federal Adoption Tax Credit?

The legislation to avoid the fiscal cliff (the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, signed into law on January 2, 2013) included a provision that made the adoption tax credit permanent. While this was a huge victory, “permanent” only means that it does not have a set expiration date. It does not mean that the credit is safe from elimination – especially in the context of the tax reform discussions Congress is undertaking. Proponents of eliminating the adoption tax credit cite the money that will be saved if the credit is removed. Our voices about the positive impact of the credit need to drown out this opposition.

Furthermore, the fiscal cliff bill did not make the adoption tax credit refundable, so it only benefits those adoptive families who have federal income tax liability. The refund ability bills in the U.S. House and Senate (H.R. 2144/S.1056) would make the credit refundable and ensure that all families can benefit from the credit. Right now co-sponsorship of these bills is the best way for Members of Congress to show their support for adoption and the tax credit.

What Can You Do?

Continue to engage with your three Members of Congress by calling each of their offices to talk about the importance of the adoption tax credit. Use their websites to locate the phones numbers for their Washington, D.C. offices. When you reach the staff member who handles the tax or child welfare portfolio in the office, explain why the credit is important to your family and ask the Member to co-sponsor the refund ability bills (H.R. 2144/S.1056) and make protection of the credit a priority.

Call the U.S. Capitol Switch Board to Connect with your legislators office by phone: (202) 224-3121
A switchboard operator with connect you directly with a legislators office that you request.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

How Adopting Kids With Special Needs Gave One Family New Purpose and Meaning

Children With Severe Disabilities Make Huge Strides In Adoptive Home and Give Family’s Life Meaning.

The love and devotion of an adoptive family made it possible for two children with severe physical disabilities to accomplish surprising success and change the lives of their family forever. Adoptive parents Marilyn and Charles Matthews have devoted their lives to helping their children with special needs accomplish more than doctors ever imagined possible.
The Matthews, from Union, West Virginia, adopted Bo at 18 months in 1985, Sarah as an infant in 1988 and Brandon through the CAP photolisting at age 4 in 1995. Both Bo and Brandon had severe physical needs that required around-the-clock care. Their doctors told the Matthews that the boys would never be able to communicate or hold meaningful relationships. The couple took the time to unlock the children’s true potential when many others had given up on them.
Marilyn and Charles were in their 40’s when they first adopted. They say they felt like complete “misfits” as Yankees from the north who moved to the remote mountains of West Virginia and adopted multi-racial children with special needs. They say some of their family and friends thought they were crazy to take in children unrelated to them with such significant health challenges. Not many understood them, in particular many of the children’s teachers and doctors, but the Matthews found their life’s meaning in adoption.
 “It gave us a different focus, a hope that things could happen that we never expected to happen,” says Marilyn. “I could see them growing. It was wonderful to see what they were able to do with what we were able to give them. I never had an experience before like that in my life, it gave us purpose, hope and the love was like no love you would get anywhere else.”

Earlier this year, on May 2, 2013, their son Brandon passed away unexpectedly at age 22.The loss was devastating to the Matthews family. Although they say they may never fully recover, they feel so grateful to have been part of Brandon’s life. “Adopting our son was one of the best decisions we ever made. He was a total delight in every way, in spite of his many challenges, he far exceeded all expectations in every important way. We were so blessed to have found him,” says Marilyn. Despite times of pain and hardship, they explain that adoption is the best thing they have ever done and want to encourage others to do the same.
-Story written by Melanie Schmidt, Adoption Supervisor at Children Awaiting Parents

Thursday, October 31, 2013


It's one of our favorite holidays here at Children Awaiting Parents (okay, I'm not sure that this is true for everyone but it's one of my favorite holidays here) and this year was no exception! With everyone in the office working towards becoming an agency and settling into new roles, we almost forgot but lucky for you, a few of us still celebrated. Happy Halloween!

Click here for last year's photos!

Melanie, Ilona & Kate

Monday, October 28, 2013


Congratulations to Lacy, and her parents, Jim and Dorothea! The family finalized their adoption last week and as you can see, there were smiles all around. We are so happy we were invited to share in this very special moment.


Lacy signing her adoption paperwork.

Lacy at the finalization.

Jim, Dorothea, Judge Kohout & Lacy.

Friday, October 4, 2013


Lacy and I hanging out
So a while back, we had a pilot program with a local agency, to certify families and help them find waiting children. One of our families was matched with a young girl in Nevada and the other day, I had the pleasure of meeting little miss Lacy. She was adorable and sweet and I'm so happy for the family. The adoption will finalize in a few weeks and our office couldn't be happier.

As for me - I got a sweet Lacy original on my dry erase board...yay for awesome kids!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Photo courtesy of
Children Awaiting Parents will be hosting a 12 week support group for children and teens that are freed for adoption in foster care. Children Awaiting Parents is inviting caseworkers to refer any children between the ages of 12-21 who might benefit from this group.  Based on the level of interest, we hope to have one group located in Rochester, NY and one in Syracuse, NY. The groups will be open to anyone who is able to be transported to these locations. 

The purpose of the waiting child support group is to prepare foster children for adoption while developing supportive relationships with other waiting peers. The group will address the hurt and loss in the children’s past that has resulted from languishing in the foster care system and provide lifelong tools and resources to help them cope. Friendships and trusting relationships among the support group will be encouraged through a discussion of adoption topics, and team building activities. The goal is to improve the youth’s ability to form connections with a pre-adoptive family and begin to better understand their feelings about their past. 
The group will allow children to understand that what they are feeling is common, they are not alone, and they are able to talk about their feelings in a safe environment. The children will have the opportunity to discuss topics including the process of adoption, birth families, foster parents, and aging out while learning to apply applicable CBT and DBT skills. Participating in the group is voluntary. Children can be at varying levels of adoption preparedness and have mixed or unclear feelings about adoption.

The waiting child support group will be run by Kristy Aquilla and Melanie Schmidt. If you have any questions or for a copy of the child referral form, please feel free to contact them at (585) 232-5110.

Friday, September 27, 2013


Are you a student interested in learning about non-profit work, advocacy strategies, public policy, and child welfare adoption issues? As an intern you will have the opportunity to work in a unique non-profit environment, gain invaluable knowledge and experience and work on meaningful projects that will help raise awareness about children in foster care who are waiting to be adopted. Interns will have an opportunity to attend relevant policy briefings and conference calls.

Click here for more information