Adoption is becoming more and more commonplace in the United States. According to statistics from the National Council for Adoption, there were 133,737 domestic and 19,471 international adoptions in the U. S. alone in 2007.

But while it is becoming more common, it is still a costly undertaking. For example, the cost to adopt a child from overseas today averages between $25,000 and $35,000. And while those same costs are not incurred to adopt a child from the foster care system, those children often have special needs which require an extra commitment of time, attention and finances on the part of the adoptive parents.

As an adoptive mother who is a strong proponent of laws that support adoption, I am writing to voice my support for Senate Bill 82 (HR 184 in the House), known as the Adoption Tax Relief Guarantee Act of 2011. If passed, this legislation would extend the existing tax credit going to adoptive families beyond 2012, the year it is currently due to expire.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., in January of 2011 and is sponsored by both Democrats and Republicans. It was referred to the Senate Finance Committee, where it has been stuck for many months.

I support the Adoption Tax Relief Guarantee Act of 2011. By continuing this credit, many more families will be equipped to provide the necessary resources these children deserve.

Judy Torkildsen Salmons, Mechanic Falls

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