Senators Introduce Bill to Create National ‘Responsible Father Registry’

Christian Post – June 21, 2013

In a statement, Sen. Landrieu argued that the proposed national registry would be valuable to fathers across the country. “By establishing a national registry, we can better ensure that any father has the chance to be involved in the life of a child he may have fathered,” said Landrieu.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/us-senators-introduce-bill-to-create-national-responsible-father-registry-98545/

Florida’s Adoption Assistance Program for Children Adopted from the Child Welfare System

The State of Florida offers adoption assistance to prospective adoptive parents to enable them to adopt a child in the state’s foster care system.

The Adoption Assistance Program is designed for children that were removed from their caregiver due to abuse or neglect and the permanent custody of the child has been awarded to the Department of Children and Families or a licensed child placing agency.

In addition, the child must meet one of the following criteria:

1. Eight years of age or older
2. Developmentally disabled
3. Physically or emotionally handicapped
4. Siblings being placed together
5. Black or Bi-Racial

Except for foster parent and relative adoptions of children from foster care, a reasonable but unsuccessful effort will have been made to place the child without a maintenance subsidy. Foster Parents and relatives must be asked if they are willing to adopt the child without subsidy.

Maintenance Subsidy: Effective July 1, 2007 the amount of the maintenance subsidy is $5,000 per year paid monthly ($417). If the amount is different, the Department of Children and Families and the adoptive family must be in agreement. The subsidy amount may be adjusted based on the needs of the child and circumstances of the family. The amount may not exceed the amount compensated for the child in Family Foster Care.

NOTE: Adoption Assistance is subject to Legislative appropriation.

Medical Subsidy: The medical subsidy is designed to help cover the costs of treating physical, mental, or emotional conditions that existed prior to the adoption. It is expected that if the adoptive families health insurance will cover these conditions, that it should be used first. Many of the children are Medicaid eligible and will continue their eligibility even after the adoption. Medicaid should be used before attempting to secure payment from a medical subsidy. The need for medical subsidy must be established before finalization of the adoption, although the service may not be needed until a later date. Prior approval by Community Based Care or Department of Children and Families Post Adoption Services is required before treatment is sought using a medical subsidy. Children receiving care through Children’s Medical Services are eligible to continue those services after the adoption.

Reimbursement for Expenses: The department is authorized to reimburse, retroactive to January 1, 1987, up to $1,000 in nonrecurring expenses related to the adoption of a child which have been incurred by the adoptive parents. For purposes of this subsection, “nonrecurring expenses” means one-time expenses, such as attorney’s fees, court costs, birth certificate fees, travel expenses, agency fees, and physical examination fees.

Federal Tax Credit: Families that adopt children from foster care are eligible for a tax credit on their federal income tax credit. A tax credit is a reduction in the amount of taxes you pay the government

College Assistance for Children Adopted from Foster Care

College Tuition Exemption: Children that are adopted through the Department of Children and Families after May 5, 1997, may be eligible to receive up to four years of college tuition waiver at Florida public universities, colleges and vocational training schools.

Road to Independence Scholarship: Children that are adopted at age 16 or 17 are eligible for Florida’s Road to Independence Program which provides some living expenses for college and Medicaid until 21 years of age.

FASFA (Federal Application for Student Financial Aid) Children adopted from foster care at the age of thirteen or older, are given special consideration when applying for student financial loans or grants. (fafsa.ed.gov)

For More Information Contact:

Florida’s Adoption Information Center was created by the Florida Legislature to serve as a clearinghouse in every area of adoption. The Center has served more than 175,000 people since opening in 1994. As a free service, the Adoption Information Center provides adoption information and referral services to adoptive parents, adult adoptees, birth relatives, pregnant women and professionals.
Note: Children adopted internationally are not eligible for Florida’s Adoption Assistance Program

Landrieu Passes Amendment to Help Adopted Children Secure Citizenship

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today passed the bipartisan Citizenship for Lawful Adoptees Amendment to the Senate Immigration Reform bill. The amendment provides technical but important fixes to the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (CCA) and the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) so that automatic citizenship provisions under these laws apply to all foreign-born adoptees of American citizen parents. The amendment is co-sponsored by Sens. Dan Coats, R-Ind., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

“Some adopted children, through no fault of their own, endure a precarious legal status, which can result in the horror of being deported to a country they don’t remember at all, where they don’t have any ties or even speak the language,” Sen. Landrieu said. “My amendment provides important technical fixes to ensure that children adopted internationally by American citizen parents receive automatic citizenship, treating them the same as biological children.”

The Citizenship for Lawful Adoptees Amendment:

• Applies automatic U.S. citizenship provisions of the CCA, which currently only apply to children who were under the age of 18 at the time of its enactment in 2001, to all foreign-born children lawfully adopted by U.S. families who were ever lawfully admitted to the United States.

• Clarifies language in the CCA so that eligible children need only be “physically present” in the U.S. versus “residing” in the U.S. for their citizenship to accrue. This clarification benefits adoptees of American families who live and work overseas, such as those serving in the military or at U.S. Embassies or Consulates.

• Modifies the INA so that only one adoptive parent—not both—must travel overseas to visit a child during the intercountry adoption process for the child to qualify for the type of visa that leads to automatic U.S. citizenship upon entry.

BILLS SEEK TO REINSTATE ADOPTION TAX CREDIT’S REFUNDABILITY PROVISION

On May 23, Sen. Casey (D-PA) and Rep. Braley (D-IA) introduced the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act of 2013 to make the credit refundable (S1056 and HR2144); both bills are in committee. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (P.L.. 112-240), enacted in January, included a permanent extension of the adoption tax credit but did not make it refundable. As a result, according to the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group, “most of the benefit of the adoption tax credit goes to families making $100,000 or more per year.” Read the Joint Committee on Taxation Report to the House Committee On Ways And Means (the adoption credit is on pages 145-146) and ATCWG comments. A recent IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service report concludes: “The IRS, facing a sizeable refundable credit, reacted with an enforcement strategy that was focused on stopping nearly all returns claiming the credit and subjecting a large percentage of them to an audit, instead of reaching out to stakeholders (including states) to understand the impacted taxpayer population.” The Adoption Institute is a member of the Save the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group Executive Committee.

INSTITUTE CALLS FOR LEGAL ACTION ON POOR INTERNET ADOPTION PRACTICES

The Adoption Institute called on regulatory, legislative and law enforcement organizations nationwide to follow the lead of the Illinois Attorney General’s office in taking action – which came in the form of “cease and desist” letters – on Internet-based adoption providers who don’t comply with states’ legal requirements relating to adoption and child welfare. The Institute last year published a report on the subject, “Untangling the Web: The Internet’s Transformative Impact on Adoption” and this month released a resource, “Proceed with Caution: Asking the Right Questions about Adoption on the Internet,” intended to serve as an initial guide for pregnant women considering placing their babies for adoption, pre-adoptive parents, and anyone else using the Internet for adoption-related purposes. To learn more about the Illinois Attorney General’s “cease and desist” letter, read this Chicago Tribune story by Bonnie Miller Rubin.