OH House of Representatives Passes Comprehensive Adoption Reform

Nora Sullivan, M.P.A  

This week the Ohio House of Representative passed landmark adoption reform legislation with a significant bipartisan majority vote. The legislation will now head to the Ohio State Senate.  The ultimate passage of this legislation will make adoption a much more accessible and affordable choice for Ohio families.  Additionally, these reforms will streamline and safeguard the adoption process.


This reform will reduce unnecessary costs to adopting families while protecting birth parents and minimizing the bureaucracy in the Ohio adoption process.


Currently in Ohio, and throughout the United States, many middle-class families feel unable to adopt due to the immense cost.  However, this adoption reform legislation focuses on cutting these expenses by increasing the current $1,500 tax credit to $10,000.


In 2013, the Charlotte Lozier Institute released a report documenting the history and progress of the adoption tax credit. The Lozier Institute has called on the federal and state governments to create or expand existing adoption credits to promote a culture of adoption in the United States.  Of the 42 states, plus the District of Columbia, which have an income tax, 17 provide some form of credit against taxes or deduction from income to encourage adoption.  The other 26 provide no adoption-specific relief at all in order to reduce state income tax liability.


In addition to improving lives by providing a permanent and stable home for children in need of one, adoption has a fiscal element. The adoption tax credits help to reduce the public expense due to the public costs of raising children in government-run institutions or subsidized foster homes.


Those states that do not currently provide an adoption tax credit could potentially reduce public expenditures substantially by following Ohio’s example and doing more to encourage adoption.



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