Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

February 11, 2014

Improving Indiana's adoption process

We have reached the halfway point of the 2014 Indiana legislative session, which hardly seems possible.

We only have about five more weeks to complete our legislative goals, meaning that we will need to power through and continue focusing on issues of importance.

All the bills that passed out of the House are now being discussed in the Senate, and the next step is for Senate bills to start coming over to be heard in House committees. We are prepared to continue working with the Senate and state leaders to pass legislation that will enhance our state.

In his State of the State Address, Governor Pence said that he hopes to make Indiana the most pro-adoption state in the nation. As a staunch advocate for children and families, I was thrilled to hear our Governor say that. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, from 1999-2012 Hoosiers adopted about 6,400 children, of which the majority were 2-years-old or younger. There are more than 100,000 children in the U.S. waiting to be adopted.

One piece of legislation aimed at helping to improve the adoption process in Indiana is House Bill (HB) 1222. As the Vice Chair of the Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee, I was proud of our committee chair who authored HB 1222. This bill is designed to help alleviate some of the financial burden of those who want to adopt by providing an adjusted gross income state tax credit for individuals who also qualify for the Federal Adoption Tax Credit. Our state tax credit would be equal to 10 percent of the federal adoption credit they claim on their federal income tax return, beginning in 2015. At least 13 other states offer adoption tax credits and another 10 offer some form of deduction.

The Federal Adoption Tax Credit was designed to defray some of the costs of adoption, such as adoption fees, attorney fees, court costs and more. Extending an additional state tax credit would go even further to help alleviate the financial burden of adoption. Besides the lengthy process, cost is the main reason many Hoosiers are unable to adopt.

Text Only
Columns
  • Pat Smith: A reader's special note Before beginning this week’s column it must be stressed that I love getting emails from readers, love getting telephone calls from readers and love seeing readers when I’m out and about – especially those who very generously tell me that they read th

    July 24, 2014

  • Spaulding Outdoors: The Inside on Indiana's Outside Early Migratory Bird 2014 Season Dates The 2014 early migratory bird season dates have been submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by the Indiana DNR as listed below. The dates are not final until the USFWS approves them, which typically hap

    July 24, 2014

  • Why incumbents get reelected Incumbents are masters at posing as outsiders, when in fact they are insiders who produce the Congress they disdain. It’s no news that Congress is unpopular. In fact, at times it seems like the only real novelty on Capitol Hill would be a jump in its

    July 24, 2014

  • Lessons from the largely forgotten war As we approach the official date on which the First World War started, July 28, 1914, when the first shots were fired by the Austro-Hungarians who invaded Serbia, it’s appropriate to think about the lessons that catastrophic event has taught us one h

    July 24, 2014

  • Protecting Indiana's agricultural heritage With the 4-H fairs in full swing, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about agriculture. Since Indiana became a state back in 1816, agriculture has played a vital role in our livelihood. For those who are not from Indiana, our state is practica

    July 22, 2014

  • Improving Indiana's infrastructure It is always a happy time when my family visits, especially to celebrate a wedding. I recently played hostess for my niece and her wedding party when she was looking for somewhere to hold her rehearsal dinner. I absolutely enjoy when family comes to

    July 22, 2014

  • Shining a light on the Federal Reserve If you are like most Americans, you probably have heard of the Federal Reserve. But, you may not know much about what the Fed actually does or the very real ways its decisions impact your day-to-day life. The Federal Reserve was founded by Congress i

    July 22, 2014

  • Expiring term heightens the urgency of lawmaker's mission INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrant

    July 22, 2014

  • fea-gb072214 Spaulding column jpg Spaulding Outdoors: The inside on Indiana's outside Free beginner waterfowl hunting workshopsTwo free waterfowl hunting workshops for beginners will be offered in August and September by the Department of Natural Resources. The focus of the workshops is on hunting Canada geese, although there will be

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thankful for our veterans' sacrifice On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed, giving birth to a new nation. To Great Britain and the rest of the world, the U.S. proclaimed itself the proud home of free people. Since that day, on more than one occasion, this freedom h

    July 17, 2014