I am troubled over the recent blows to the orphans in this world.
First, Vladimir Putin decides that he has a new dislike for Americans and in a rash decision, made in less than 24 hours, he bans adoptions to any American, even those who are already in the end stage. Over 50 children were in the final preparations to join their new American families and now those hopes and dreams of a future family have been taken away. Did Putin deliver that news to those children personally? Did he bother to find them some professional counseling as those beautiful children were yet handed one more disappointment? Did he promise them a mom and dad from another country? Did anyone do anything for those 50 breaking hearts?
Putin’s decision was in response to a U.S. law targeting Russians deemed to be human-rights violators. Sounds like a school yard fight where only the vulnerable lose.
Not everyone in Russia agreed with Putin’s decision. In fact, some top Russian officials, including the foreign minister, openly opposed the bill. Maybe there will be hope for a change in the future.
Secondly, in all this tax mess, many tax credits were not renewed, including the adoption tax credit. 2012 provided a little over $12,000 to families in a tax credit to help recover the excessive cost of adopting. An international adoption costs anywhere from $24,000 to $30,000 and a domestic adoption costs $17-20,000. The tax credit not only motivated families to begin an adoption, but a number of people have gone back for another child once they received the tax credit.
There were some huge tax issues at the end of 2012 that would have impacted the entire country. Something needed to be done to help America and congress had a lot to agree upon. But congress managed to extend the wind energy tax credit for another year in the fiscal cliff deal that passed yesterday……and although that is something I do value, I just can’t help but notice that an industry with lobbyists and political influence can manage to get their agenda passed, but the parentless don’t seem to have any lobbyists advocating for them.
My heart hurts for the least of these. For those without a voice. For those that society chooses to leave behind. And for the parents who want these children so badly but can’t find the resources to get them.
It is not a happy new year for everyone.