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How Much Is Adoption Tax Credits?

How Much Is Adoption Tax Credits?

Adoption can be an emotionally rewarding journey, however, it can also come with significant expenses. To help alleviate the financial burden associated with adoption, the United States government offers adoption tax credits. These credits can make adoption more affordable and accessible for many families. In this article, we will explore how much adoption tax credits are, who is eligible, and how to claim them.

What Are Adoption Tax Credits?

Adoption tax credits are financial incentives provided by the government to encourage families to adopt children. These credits can help offset some of the costs associated with the adoption process, making it more feasible for families who might not otherwise be able to afford it.

How Much Can You Get in Adoption Tax Credits?

The amount of adoption tax credits you can receive varies depending on several factors, including the type of adoption and your income. Here's a breakdown of the different types of adoption and the associated tax credits:

Non-Special Needs Adoption

For non-special needs adoptions, you can claim a tax credit for qualified adoption expenses up to a maximum of $14,440 per child in 2021. This amount is adjusted annually for inflation.

Special Needs Adoption

Special needs adoptions typically come with more substantial tax benefits. Families adopting children with special needs may be eligible for the full maximum credit amount, even if their qualified adoption expenses are less than that amount.

Foreign Adoptions

If you adopt a child from another country, you can still claim the adoption tax credit. However, the expenses eligible for the credit may differ, and you'll need to meet specific criteria.

Who Is Eligible for Adoption Tax Credits?

To be eligible for adoption tax credits, you need to meet the following criteria:

Adopted Child

The child must be under the age of 18 when the adoption process begins, or they must be physically or mentally incapable of caring for themselves. Special needs adoptions may have different age requirements.

Qualified Adoption Expenses

You can claim the tax credit for "qualified adoption expenses," which include adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees, travel expenses, and other reasonable adoption-related expenses. These expenses must be directly related to the legal adoption of an eligible child.

Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI)

Your MAGI plays a significant role in determining your eligibility for the adoption tax credit. The credit begins to phase out for families with MAGI above a certain threshold and is not available for families with significantly higher incomes.

Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN)

To claim the adoption tax credit, you must provide the IRS with the child's ATIN, which is a temporary taxpayer identification number assigned to the child during the adoption process.

You can claim the adoption tax credit for the year in which your adoption becomes final. However, it's essential to keep detailed records of your qualified adoption expenses throughout the process.


Adoption tax credits are a valuable resource that can significantly reduce the financial strain of adoption. While the exact amount you can claim varies based on factors like your income and the type of adoption, these credits can make adoption a more viable option for many families. If you're considering adoption or in the process of adopting, it's essential to understand the eligibility criteria and the steps to claim these credits. With careful planning and documentation, you can make the most of adoption tax credits and provide a loving home to a child in need.