January 16, 2014
It feels like perfect timing that the adoption tax credit arrived in my bank account right before Christmas, but ultimately my plan for the majority of it will be invested back into my child in more important ways than gifts. After paying off my adoption loan, I will be saving to ensure I can provide for all the special costs that can accompany adoptive parenting.
My son attends an extremely supportive school that works with him individually, provides sensory outlets, and surrounds him with a global community; it has been an amazing blessing in helping him adjust to a new country, new culture, and new language- but it requires a scholarship for us to afford the tuition. Even with a scholarship, there is a portion of the tuition which I happily pay to provide him with that environment. For him, this is the most important way I can invest the adoption tax credit.
In addition to budgeting for tuition, I will be saving funds to pay for family counseling should the need arise for my son to process the experiences and changes of his life at any point in the future. I do not believe that it is most helpful to allow insurance to reimburse for therapy because insurance requires a diagnosis that is stored on your child’s permanent record. I have seen clients who have had mental health diagnoses struggle with obtaining life insurance and have to pay higher medical insurance premiums as a result. I would much rather pay for any needed counseling out of pocket than allow one more hurdle for my child.
I am also consciously saving for a family cultural trip to take my son back to Samoa before he is a teenager. It is so important for identity development for children to have a good grasp of their culture of origin. I would love to take him back annually, but it is not financially feasible to travel that far. To ensure that we have enough money saved for the trip, it is important to start right away. Other things that adoptive parents may consider as needs for the future include occupational therapy, sensory activities and interventions, neurotransmitter supplements, or educational tutors.
Whether you add a child to your family through birth or adoption, no parent can predict the specific needs your child will have in the future or the expenses required to encourage their talents and skills. I have a feeling my child may be interested in music lessons at some point in the future, which could require purchasing an expensive instrument. This has nothing to do with adoption, but is an expense that may be a part of raising a child. The circumstances that may have made adoption necessary for your child may also create circumstances that require specific treatments; if saved wisely, the adoption tax credit can make a major difference in affording these things more easily.
Photo Credit: LendingMemo