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The Adoption Tax Credit Vulnerable Children and Families Act The Child Citizenship Act Human Rights Reporting on Unparented Children National Responsible Fatherhood RegistryFoster Care Bill of Rights Congressional Coalition on Adoption‚Äč

Adoption Tax Credit

NCFA has been a champion of the adoption tax credit for decades. A refundable adoption tax credit makes the greatest impact for families with less tax liability, who might benefit most from these funds. Here's what you should know about the ATC:

  1. Saving the credit. During tax reform in 2017, the House Ways and Means Committee eliminated the ATC from their draft of H.R. 1, The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Thanks to your advocacy, the adoption tax credit and the employer sponsored adoption benefits were preserved in the final bill! We are excited to know that the voices of thousands of adoptive families and advocates made a difference.
  2. Making the adoption tax credit refundable. A refundable tax credit could help more families, particularly those with middle to low incomes. The new tax refom bill includes a non-refundable adoption tax credit, so additional legislation would need to be passed to make that tax credit refundable. In April 2017, U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act (S. 937) in the U.S. Senate. In May, Representatives Diane Black (R-TN-06) and Danny Davis (D-IL-07) introduced the companion bill (H.R. 2476) in the U.S. House.

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Vulnerable Children and Families Act of 2017

Every day millions of children all over the world are living without families. Children in institutional care are some of the most vulnerable in the world. They are more likely to experience violence, sexual abuse, and suicide than children living in family based care. Once these children age out of institutional care, they are more likely to experience violence, incarceration, and unemployment. The Vulnerable Children and Families Act (S.1178 and H.R.2532) strategically strengthens the United States' international child welfare and intercountry adoption efforts.

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Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2018

The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (CCA) granted some foreign-born children adopted by U.S. citizen parents their U.S. citizenship automatically upon entry into the United States. However, this act excluded some international adoptees. Many adopted individuals who entered the U.S. as children, either on a non-automatic visa type or before the CCA was enacted, later discover they are not U.S. citizens or that they lack documentation to prove they are. In March 2018, the House and Senate introduced bipartisan bills to amend the Child Citizenship of 2000 to correct the loophole that left some individuals adopted abroad without U.S. citizenship. You can support citizenship for intercountry adoptees by contacting your Members of Congress and asking them to support this legislation.

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Human Rights Reporting on Unparented Children

Do you believe that every child around the world has an inherent right to a family? Introduced in 2017, S. 1177 and H.R. 2643 would transform how the U.S. and other countries prioritize children’s rights and promote their best interests. Specifically, this legislation amends the law governing the U.S. Department of State’s annual reports on human rights violations, requiring them to consider reporting on the shutting down of international adoption as a violation of unparented children’s right to family.

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National Responsible Fatherhood Registry

Responsible Fatherhood Registries—also known as putative father registries, paternity registries, or paternal claim registrars—allow an unmarried, uninvolved biological father who registers in a timely manner to receive notice of any pending or future adoption proceedings involving his putative (or possible) child. The Permanency for Children Act (H.R. 3092) was introduced in the House in June. This legislation would modify the Federal Parent Locator Service to help state agencies find information about registered putative fathers in other states. This would provide a broader, more efficient way to locate biological fathers during a pending adoption.

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Foster Care Bill of Rights

What rights do kids in foster care really have? State-level foster care guidelines generally protect a child’s basic human rights to food, shelter, and care, but often fail to take into consideration further rights related to the unique vulnerabilities of children in care. We need that village they say it takes to raise a child to come together and demand that these children’s rights be clearer, and then, that they be consistently and vigorously upheld.

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Congressional Coalition on Adoption

Ask your Members of Congress to join the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, if they haven't already! The CCA is the largest bicameral caucus in Congress. Once your Member joins the CCA, they'll have access to adoption-related information throughout the year. It's an easy way for them to stay up-to-date on changes in the field of adoption, as well as pieces of legislation that may help children living outside of family care. Here's what you need to know about the CCA.