Senators reintroduce the bipartisan Tribal Adoption Parity Act that would bring parity to tribal government for the adoption tax credit

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, John Hoeven (R-ND), Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Tom Udall (D-NM), and Jerry Moran (R-KS), reintroduced the bipartisan Tribal Adoption Parity Act legislation that would bring parity to tribal government for the adoption tax credit. Specifically, the bill amends Section 23 of the Internal Revenue Code by adding “Indian tribal governments” to the adoption tax credit. Tribal governments would then be able to designate adoptive children as having “special needs,” a determination that would entitle the adoptive parents to qualify for the full adoption tax credit. This legislation would make the special needs adoption tax credit available to all adoptive parents who adopt children through tribal courts. The bill was previously introduced by former U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND).   

“Minnesotans have a long and proud tradition of adoption, providing loving homes to children from all around the globe,” Klobuchar said. “Our bipartisan Tribal Adoption Parity Act will help provide parity for tribal governments in the adoption process to ensure a smooth and successful transition for children and their parents.”

“Adoption can be a long and expensive process, and the parents deserve our support,” Hoeven said. “Our legislation would bring parity between states and tribes when seeking adoptive homes for children with special needs. That will help make adoption a more affordable option for families and ensure that more children can be placed in loving, permanent homes.”

“This bill would give tribes the same authority as states to access the adoption tax credit, ensuring Native adoptees and their families have the same benefits as all adoptive families across the United States,” Udall said. “I’m proud to cosponsor the measure again with Senator Klobuchar.”

“We must ease the financial burdens of families who wish to adopt children into loving homes,” Moran said. “This legislation rightly gives tribal governments authority alongside states to make determinations essential to promoting adoption, and is but one commonsense solution to meeting the needs of adoptive families.”

The legislation is supported by the Child Welfare League of America, the National Congress of American Indians, the National Indian Child Welfare Association, the North American Council on Adoptable Children, and Voice for Adoption.

Klobuchar has been a leader in the fight to give every child a permanent home. As Co-Chair of the Congressional Adoption Caucus with Senator Roy Blunt, Klobuchar has led adoption efforts. Last year, Klobuchar and Blunt encouraged Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Lynn Johnson, to raise awareness for National Adoption Month, which began November 1st. In August 2018, Klobuchar and Blunt introduced legislation to improve the intercountry adoption process. The bipartisan Intercountry Adoption Advisory Committee Act provides the Secretary of State the authority to establish an Intercountry Adoption Advisory Committee within the Bureau of Consular Affairs to focus on coordinating the development, refinement, and implementation of policies and programs on intercountry adoption. In June, they sent a letter urging the Bureau of Consular Affairs at the U.S. Department of State (DOS) to ensure that the dialogue between the DOS, Congress, and the Adoption Service Providers (ASPs) continues and that members and experts in the adoption community are consulted in efforts to develop and implement policies that advance intercountry adoption.