The Future of Adoption Hanging on a Cliff
CHARLOTTE-Jennifer Van-Strahlen and her 12-year-old daughter Savannah are spending their first Christmas together. Savannah Van-Strahlen says, "Finally I have someone that I can look forward to waking up and seeing them."
They met for the first time in April, and after going through the adoption process, Savannah is officially a member of the family. Jennifer Van-Strahlen says, "We are coming into the game late, where the average parent starts saving for their child when they are born, we are handed a 12 year old, and hey we're going to college in 6 years."
Jennifer is eligible for an adoption tax credit up to$13,000 dollars. Some adoptions can cost up to $50,000 up front. But after the new year, the extra help may go away. Families like the Van-Strahlens worry about falling off the fiscal cliff in the new year. Not only could it affect their future if they choose to adopt again, but it could affect people on medicare, homeowners, and low income families.
Van-Strahlen says, "For families who are adopting domestically and internationally, it really impacts how they are able to fundraise for that, it's an expensive process." Van-strahlen is also the president of The Southern Piedmont Adoptive Families of America. She sees the financial concerns new adoptive parents have. Van-Strahlen says, "I worry that it is going to slow, that not many people are going to want to go that route, because you have to front the bill up front for a lot of things you aren't expecting."