Michele L. Jackson Testifies Before Indiana House Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee

Adoption Tax CreditWe are so thankful to be headquartered in a state that values and places importance upon adoption. We so appreciate that the Governor of the State of Indiana, Governor Mike Pence, is a true adoption advocate. Not only has Governor Pence been vocal in his support of adoption, but has been active in his support as well; he orchestrated Indianaā€™s first annual Governorā€™s Adoption Celebration, which MLJ Adoptions was glad to attend.
Last night, in the Governorā€™s 2014 State of the State address, Governor Pence delivered a speech that was both touching and exciting; touching in that Governor Pence recognizes the beauty inherent in adoption and exciting in its objectives:
“Adoption is a beautiful way for families to come together forever. We can [expand and improve] adoption in Indiana. We can improve the way we place children from state care into adoptive homes, and we can support every parent who is willing to lovingly adopt a child into their home. Let’s make it our aim to make Indiana the most pro-adoption state in America.”
We commend Governor Penceā€™s pro-adoption stance and fully support his aim for Indiana. We fervently hope that every state in the U.S. sets the same goals for itself as those that Governor Pence has set forth for Indiana. How wonderful would it be if every state charged itself with becoming the most pro-adoption state in America?
We appreciate that Governor Pence is actively working towards making these goals a reality. Here in Indiana, the legislative session has begun and is in full swing. This morning, Governor Penceā€™s proposal on the Indiana state adoption tax credit and interim adoption committee, introduced by Representative Rebecca Kubacki (the ā€œBillā€), was considered in the House Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee.
    • Interim Adoption Committee: The Bill also establishes an interim committee on adoption; the committee would be required to study how other states have partnered with private, faith based, and community entities to provide services under the public adoption programs of those states and study the legal and regulatory costs associated with foster care and private adoption in Indiana; make recommendations concerning improving adoption programs in Indiana; and report the committee’s findings and recommendations to the governor and the department of child services.
MLJ Adoptionsā€™ CEO Michele L. Jackson was asked to testify in support of the Bill. Michele spoke from her heart as an adoptive mother and an adoption professional. It is Micheleā€™s firm belief that a family is a fundamental and human right that all children should be entitled to. Michele testified that expanding and improving adoption in the State of Indiana benefits children that do not have families, adoptive families, and the community at large. Michele spoke of the transformative effects of adoption on children and commented that one of the reasons families may not pursue adoption is due to lack of funds.
We are pleased to report that the Bill passed its first legislative obstacle and was unanimously endorsed by the House Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee.
For more information about MLJ’s international adoption programs, please click here.

Liane Steffes, JD is an adoption attorney and serves as MLJ Adoptionsā€™ Chief of Staff. Ms. Steffes earned her Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and was admitted to the Indiana Bar in 2013. She is thankful for the opportunity to serve children in need of loving, permanent, and secure families.