Improving incentives for adoption both good and bad
Ohio legislators are on a path to improve the lives of many of the state’s most helpless residents – children who need adoptive parents. In doing so, lawmakers should ensure safeguards are in place to ensure the youngsters go to loving homes.
A bill approved by the state House of Representatives would increase the tax credit for an adoption from $1,500 to $10,000. The bill includes other provisions to make the process of putting a child up for adoption less time-consuming.
The overwhelming majority of Ohioans who adopt children do so with the very best motives. They care deeply for their young charges.
But increasing the financial incentive for adoption means the state will need to ensure earning a windfall in tax breaks is not the primary reason some couples take children into their homes.
That can and does happen – and the results can be catastrophic for helpless boys and girls.
Raising children is a costly process. Lawmakers are right to encourage loving couples who, without the higher tax credit, might conclude they cannot afford to adopt.
Again, however, the change places a new burden on state and local child welfare agencies. If they determine they need a few additional state dollars to monitor adoptive parents adequately, legislators should provide the money.