SOURCE: Adoption Council of Canada
OTTAWA, ON--(Marketwired - Feb 12, 2014) - The Canadian government has taken another step in supporting adoptive families by increasing the federal adoption tax credit in the 2014 budget, says the Adoption Council of Canada.
The increase would allow adoptive families to claim up to $15,000 in eligible expenses -- an increase of $3,226 from the current maximum threshold of $11, 774. This change will apply to adoptions finalized after 2013.
The increase builds on the Adoption Expense Tax Credit enhancements the federal government introduced in the 2013 budget. Those changes allowed adoptive families to claim costs associated with the mandatory homestudy and pre-service adoption preparation training that provinces require. These costs are part of both the international and private domestic adoption processes.
"The Adoption Council of Canada is pleased that Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has recognized the need to support adoptive families," says Laura Eggertson, president of the Adoption Council of Canada and adds that "We look forward to working with the federal government in the future to further develop policies that support permanency for Canada's 30,000 children and youth in foster and group care who are waiting for permanent adoptive homes."
- The Adoption Council of Canada (www.adoption.ca) is a national, non-profit organization that provides information and support to potential adoptive families, adoptees, birth families and others in the adoption community. The ACC runs the country's only national photolisting service to help match waiting children and youth with potential adoptive families and promotes the placement of children waiting in foster care and group care.
- There are about 78,000 children and youth in foster care across Canada and about 1/2 million children in international countries who do not have a family.
- More children become available each year for adoption than are adopted. Of the 30,000 children and youth in foster care who are legally free for adoption, only about 2,000 are adopted every year.
- In 2013, for example, 7,500 Ontario children and youth in foster care were legally free for adoption. Only 830 waiting children and youth were adopted. Of the 830 children and youth adopted last year, 71% were ages 0-5, 25% were ages 6-12 and 4% were ages 13 and over. While 61% of the children and youth available for adoption are age 13 and up, this age group constituted only 4% of the 830 children and youth adopted last year.
- In the Canadian child welfare system, children often wait five years or more to be adopted, move three or more times in foster care, and may be separated from siblings. The average age of a waiting child is eight years old.
- Each year, one in five youth (29,516 in 2008 in Canada) turns 18 and ages out of the foster care system without a family.
- Children and youth who age out of the foster care system without forever families will be more likely than their peers to drop out of school, become homeless, end up in contact with the justice system, rely on social assistance or become teen parents. Without permanent families, children and youth in care are at risk of perpetuating the cycle of trauma and abuse they have experienced.
- Only 50 percent of youth in care graduate from high school, most by GED. Only 2 percent of youth in care go on to post-secondary education, compared to 24 percent of the general population.
- Youth in care are 17 times more likely to be hospitalized for mental health issues than the general public.
- Children who are adopted score higher on IQ tests than non-adopted siblings or peers, and perform better in academic and social settings.
- Adopted children are also more likely to have increased involvement in positive, structured activities, such as sports, music and community organizations.