Senate Bill 2, passed and signed into law as part of this summer’s special session, has received little media attention for its pro-life measures. But these measures are considered key elements in the pro-life mission to end abortion and support families in the process.
One of the measures contained in Senate Bill 2 offers significant financial relief to couples hoping to adopt. The law increases the state’s adoption tax credit from what was previously a $1,000 per adopted child to $2,500 per adopted child.
“Indiana’s adoptive tax relief will give our Hoosier families a fighting chance to provide a forever home to our most vulnerable,” said Senator Kevin Boehnlein (R-District 46). “We all win when the cost of adoption is the last thing loving parents need to think about when growing their families.”
Federally, adoptive parents already have access to an adoption tax credit of up to $14,440 per child, depending on the parents’ income.
Steve Kirsh–an attorney of the Indiana-based law firm, Kirsh & Kirsh, PC–says that a newborn adoption can cost north of $40,000.
He says that the increased adoption tax credit is not only a positive for adoptive families, but that it is also a positive for women who might be considering making an adoption plan.
“The fact that the state of Indiana is doing this says publicly that the state supports adoption,” he said. “It would be a mistake to argue that a woman thinking about abortion would necessarily choose an abortion–that is not a true statement. But for a woman who’s not ready to parent or who’s pregnant and not sure what to do–to know that it’s a publicly acceptable option, might have an impact on her decision.”
Kirsh says that because the law applies to years after 2014, Hoosiers may be able to file an amended state tax return to receive money back if they adopted a child within the last eight years. While they may need to hire an accountant for assistance with this, the additional funds could outweigh that cost.
In 2019, Indiana averaged 3,044 adoptions annually between 2017 and 2021, according to a fiscal impact statement that was attached to an earlier version of the bill.
In 2021, 8,414 abortions were reported to the Indiana Department of Health. With the enactment of Senate Bill 1, signed alongside Senate Bill 2, approximately 95 percent of abortions are expected to stop in Indiana this month. If even 1 percent of the women who may have otherwise had an abortion choose to make an adoption plan instead, dozens of babies would be in need of of adoptive parents.
Kirsh says that his firm is there to help adoptive parents welcome one of these babies into their arms. He says his office is also dedicated to respecting the needs and desires of birth mothers. As such, his team ensures that birth moms are connected to Medicaid, counseling, independent legal counsel, and prenatal care.
One birth mom who benefited from Kirsh & Kirsh’s services is Melissa Coles, an Indiana woman whose story is the focus of the new film, Lifemark, produced by Kirk Cameron and the Kendrick Brothers.
“They stayed with me from the get go, never left,” she said. “They always answered the phone, no matter how big or how small the problem was, anything–they were right there. And the good thing about that and how I know that God was in this, is they’re still there for me today. So they don’t just care about the baby. They don’t just care about the mom. They care about the family.”
To learn more about Kirsh & Kirsh, PC, click here.