Posted by: Barbara Collura at January 3, 2013
Category: Federal and State legislation
Some good news for the Infertility Community… and some work to do in 2013
We have jokingly said for months that the extension of the Adoption Tax Credit and passage of the Family Act would occur late at night at the end of the year…and we may not even know what is in the final bill that passes. Funny how that is basically what happened. The Senate voted on the “Fiscal Cliff” bill (correct name is the American Taxpayer Relief Bill of 2012) after midnight on December 31 (vote was recorded on January 1, 2013) and the House followed suit later that day. We found out before the House voted on January 1st that the Senate bill included the Adoption Tax Credit. Once the bill was passed in both chambers, we all read the bill language and were delighted to discover the Adoption Tax Credit was not just extended for a year or two…it was made permanent! This is a huge victory for the infertility and adoption community!
RESOLVE is part of the Executive Committee of the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group and several members have been working hard this week to understand the bill language and what it actually means for all of us. We are still digging, and I encourage you to stay tuned to the “Save the Adoption Tax Credit” Facebook page or website as we will post updates as we know them and can verify them. But we should all be very proud of the hard work, letters and calls to Congress, and outreach on this important tax credit. Families will be able to use this credit now to build their families without fear that it will expire. One disappointing feature of the Adoption Tax Credit that passed is that it does not include refundability, a feature that was added to the credit in 2010 and 2011 which data shows has helped more families adopt from the U.S. Foster Care program. Refundability, a key feature of the credit that is proven to move more kids out of foster care, will be a continued demand of the adoption community as we seek to improve this tax credit. Click here to read the press release from the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group about the passage of the bill.
Sadly, as we read the bill, the Family Act of 2011, legislation that called for a tax credit for IVF treatments, was not included. This means the bill dies and must now be re-introduced in the new Congress that begins in January 2013. We were able to secure 33 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives and 4 co-sponsors in the Senate before December 2012. In addition, so many Congressional offices were contacted in the last few months of the year that we are certain more Senators and Representatives will sign on as co-sponsors when the bill is re-introduced. This is good news. We have momentum now that we can build on. And, we have some newly-elected Senators and Representatives to educate about our issues. Our work must not end…and we must not stop now. Please, re-commit yourself to helping pass the Family Act. Work with RESOLVE, your physician, your patients, and your friends and family to make this bill a law. We can do it – but we must all be committed and must do this together.
I want to personally thank the thousands of people who wrote letters, made calls, and visited their elected officials about the Family Act and the Adoption Tax Credit. There are physicians, attorneys, nurses, and adoption professionals who worked tirelessly for both of these tax credits. Even today as I write this, a fertility practice in Utah is hosting the state-based staff of one of their Senators for a tour and discussion of the issues faced by infertility patients. Keep it up! We look forward to seeing you at Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. this spring and working with all of you to pass the Family Act.
Barbara Collura is President/CEO for RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.556.7172.