Assisting Families
For More Than 30 Years

Our Practice Is Limited to Adoption & Children’s Law

Adoptive Parents Qualify For Tax Benefits

2019 Tax Update:

“The adoption credit can be taken on up to $14,080 of qualified expenses. The full credit is available for a special-needs adoption, even it if costs less. The credit phases out for folks with modified AGIs over $211,160 and ends at $251,160. The exclusion for company-paid adoption aid also increases to $14,080” –


The federal government seeks to encourage adoption by offering tax credits to prospective adoptive parents. Namely, qualified parents receive a tax break of more than $13,000 per child. (The tax credit has been increasing every year, to keep pace with cost of living.) Not all parents are eligible for the tax credit, however. There are exclusions based on the adoptive family’s income, as well as other considerations.

It is important to speak with an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer to understand for what exemptions you may qualify. To this end, attorney Raymond W. Godwin can help. Ray has helped families in Greenville and the surrounding region for more than 25 years in their adoption matters, and can help you leverage the associated tax credits to your greatest advantage.

Helping You Understand Your Tax Breaks

To qualify for the tax exemption, parents must have adopted a child other than a stepchild. Moreover, the child must be under18 years of age, or else be incapable of taking care of him or herself.

Likewise, eligibility for the tax credit is dependent on the adoptive family’s income. In recent years, families earning more than $238,000 annually were disallowed from claiming the credit, and families earning more than $198,000 were able to claim only partial credit.

Likewise, the tax credit can only be applied to specific costs, including:

  • Necessary adoption fees
  • Associated legal fees
  • Travel expenses
  • Expenses directly related to the legal adoption of a child

That is, if your adoption-related fees amount to $5,000, you can only receive a tax exemption for $5,000 — even if you are eligible for the full $13,000+ credit. However, you may carry forward your unused credit for up to five years, and apply it toward other adoption-related costs you might incur.

If you are a state employee then you would qualify for a reimbursement of up to $5,000.00 per child. Many employers such as the US Military and GHS provide adoption related stipends of $2,500.00 to $5,000.00

Families who adopt a special needs child can claim the full $13,000+ tax credit, regardless of their adoption expenses.

You can find more information about the current tax credit here.

Learn More Today

If you have questions, or would like to speak with an adoption lawyer, reach out to our firm. You can call us in South Carolina at 864-241-2883 or schedule an appointment online.

We recommend Steven Rau at Acuity Taxes & Consulting.

Click video to learn more.