Adoption Tax Credit


What are qualified adoption expenses?

Reasonable and necessary adoption fees, travel (including lodging and meals), attorney fees, court costs and other expenses related to, and whose principal purpose is for, the legal adoption of an eligible child.


Who qualifies for the tax credit and how much is it?

Please go to the following link for full information on the current tax credit:


How does the credit work?

The credit for 2010 and 2011 was refundable regardless of tax liability and also covered credits remaining from five previous years. For 2012 and after the credit can be applied against tax liability for that year or carried forward five years until expenses reach the cap, whichever comes first.


When can the tax credit be claimed?

International adoptions must be finalized. Some adoptions are considered final in the child’s country of origin and others must be completed or re-finalized in the U.S. in order to qualify for the credit.


When does the credit expire?

The adoption credit itself was made permanent in 2013, but the refundable aspect of the program was not extended.


Additional resources:
Link to IRS topic 607 on the Adoption Tax Credit

Link to IRS form 8839 pdf to claim the credit

Link to IRS form 8839 instructions

Adoptive Families Magazine Articles on Tax Credit

Additional information about the adoption tax credit can be found here:

The above information is intended as a summary and is not a substitute for professional tax or legal advice. Please consult a tax professional about your specific situation.