Quora: Does the American government stimulate the adoption of foreign children with disabilities?

My answer to a question originally published on Quora.

Q: Why does the American government stimulate the adoption of foreign children with disabilities?

What's the use of these children for the country's welfare and future?

My Answer:

I'll start off by saying many (most?) Americans would regard your question on the "use of these [special needs] children" to be highly offensive and discriminatory.

As a country, our laws regard all people -- including the disabled -- to be created equal. And while our Americans' attitudes toward the disabled are far from perfect or universal, compared to many other countries I believe we are culturally more accepting and have made it a bit easier for the disabled to thrive.

Now, let me address the "government stimulation" part of your question...

I've researched it and found NO US government program that provides financial incentives for international adoption of a special-needs child over international adoption of a healthy child, so I'm unsure what "government stimulation" you are thinking of.

Maybe you're thinking of the IRS tax credit (approximately $13,000) that ALL adoptive families can claim against their federal income tax for adoption-related expenses. See IRS Topic 607 Adoption Credit and Adoption Assistance Programs. But this credit applies to all adoptions - foreign and domestic, special-needs or not.

There are other adoption subsidy programs specifically for special needs kids currently in US foster care, under the Federal Title IV-E Adoption Assistance Program (AAP): (see NACAC | Adoption Subsidy ). But these wouldn't apply to international adoptions.

I did find a few private charities (not affiliated with the US government), such as Brittany's Hope Foundation, that provide financial assistance for families wanting to adopt special needs children from abroad. The amount of assistance is usually quite small (a few thousand dollars at best) compared to the cost of adopting (which is usually in the $20,000 - $50,000 range for international adoptions). Maybe this is the "stimulation" you are thinking of, but this is not a government program.

Sue Raisty

Product management geek, born-again engineer, adoptive mother of boys, coach & mentor, mountain trail runner, tinkerer, no-bull communicator, wannabe writer, room mother & compulsive researcher.

Silicon Valley, California http://blog.sueraisty.com