Policy: Law

Pence wants Indiana tax credit for adoptive parents

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Associated Press,Taxes,Indiana,Budgets and Deficits,Law

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Gov. Mike Pence is asking Indiana lawmakers to create a tax credit that would help parents offset the expenses of adopting a child.

Under Pence's proposal, taxpayers benefiting from the federal adoption credit would be able to claim an additional credit on their state tax return, the Evansville Courier & Press reported.

The state tax credit would be tied to up to 10 percent of the amount the taxpayer claims for the federal credit. For 2012 tax returns, the federal government offered a maximum, nonrefundable credit of $12,650, with that amount increasing to $12,970 for 2013.

The governor also wants an interim study committee to explore faith-based and community adoption programs and how to better link the state's adoption services. Pence has said he wants Indiana to become the nation's "most pro-adoption state."

Adoption is a personal topic for Pence and his wife, Karen. They went through the adoption process before their first child, a son, was born. The Pences later had two daughters.

"We have always cherished and admired families that have gone through adoption," Pence said earlier this month. "We have seen that there are all kinds of ways of putting families together and adoption is chief among them apart from the natural process."

Sharon Pierce, president and CEO of The Villages, Indiana's largest not-for-profit child and family services agency, said she supports Pence's plan and any other steps that can "make Indiana more friendly to adoption."

"We all know there are literally thousands of children in the country, and we assume over 1,000 in Indiana to be in need of a forever family," Pierce said.

She said her group would also like to see lawmakers bring back a state adoption subsidy, which she said is particularly helpful for families that adopt children with special needs.

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