Adoption Tax Credit

If you have adopted or started the adoption process in 2021, you may qualify for the adoption credit.

This credit can be applied to international, domestic private, and public foster care adoption. However, if you adopt your spouse’s child, you cannot claim this credit.

Basic Information About the Adoption Tax Credit

  • The maximum adoption credit taxpayers can claim on their 2021 tax return is $14,440 per eligible child.
  • There are income limits that could affect the amount of the credit.
  • An eligible child must be younger than 18. If the adopted person is older, they must be unable to physically take care of themselves.
  • This credit is non-refundable. This means the amount of the credit is limited to the taxpayer’s taxes due for 2021. Any credit leftover from their owed 2021 taxes can be carried forward for up to five years.
  • Qualified expenses include: adoption fees, court costs, legal fees, related travel expenses (meals and lodging), and other expenses directly related to the legal adoption.
  • In some cases, a registered domestic partner may pay the adoption expenses. If they live in a state that allows a same-sex second parent or co-parent to adopt their partner’s child, these may also be considered qualified expenses.