SOURCE: Adoption Council of Canada
OTTAWA--(Marketwire - Mar 21, 2013) - The Canadian government has taken an important step in supporting adoptive families by expanding the federal adoption tax credit in the 2013 budget, says the Adoption Council of Canada.
Until now, the tax credit has primarily been claimed by families adopting internationally, who face steep up-front costs as they build their families. These changes will now make it easier for families adopting from the foster care system within Canada to claim the credit as well. Costs associated with the mandatory homestudy and pre-service adoption preparation training would now be covered under the proposed enhancement.
"The Adoption Council of Canada is extremely pleased that Finance Minister Jim Flaherty responded to our suggestions and to the letters, emails and petitions by adoptive families about their need for more support," says Laura Eggertson, president of the Adoption Council of Canada. "Given that this is a time of fiscal restraint, the Adoption Council of Canada is pleased to see that the government has chosen to prioritize support for Canadian adoptive families."
The budgetary report also points to how "strong and stable families are critical to Canada's long-term prosperity. Families provide children with permanency, connections, and support -- and yet an estimated 30,000 children are currently in the care of child welfare agencies across Canada, waiting to be adopted."
Sarah Pedersen, executive director of the Adoption Council of Canada, adds that "the ACC is thankful to see the needs of waiting children and youth being recognized by our federal government. By supporting prospective adoptive parents in the adoption journey, we will hopefully find more forever families for those in care."
The Adoption Council of Canada looks forward to working with the federal government in the future to further develop policies that support adoptive families across the country.
- 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.
- 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 2012, for example, 8,000 Ontario children and youth in foster care were legally free for adoption. Only 830 waiting children and youth were adopted. Another 3,000 were placed in kinship care, with legal guardians, or in customary care.
- In 2010, Canadians adopted 1,946 children from abroad.
- 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.