Adoption Tax Credit Survives the “Fiscal Cliff”

A compromise was reached and the President signed the “Fiscal Cliff” bill today, January 2, 2013, which had a provision for th eAdoption Tax Credit.  The new law makes the Adoption Tax Credit a permanent part of the Internal REvenue Code.  In the past, the Adoption Tax Credit was not permanent and it included a sunset provision that caused it to “expire” for lack of a better term.

The Adoption Tax Credit best generic proscar allows families to claim a tax deduction for their adoption expenses.  Adoption experts around the country had pushed for it to be a refundable tax credit but that fature did not survive negotiations and the bill was passed withoiut the refundanble language as a compromise.  The tax credit is claimed to be a benefit of billions of dollars to families who will adopt in the future.

12 Kids and 2 Dads = Happy Family

I read through this mostly happy, slightly sad article about a family created by hook or by crook in Arizona, a state that does not currently allow second parent adoptions, or two parents of the same gender to adopt.  Despite this prohibition, the dads profiled in this article have managed to bring twelve kids out of the foster care system and into their home.  Nevada used to have a similar law which meant for years only one person in a gay couple could legally adopt children but with the passage of the domestic partnership registry during the last legislative session, in Nevada gay couples can now both legally adopt children.

Crazy Month for Family Formation / Assisted Reproductive Technology Law

So many things have happened this month that I can’t keep up with the blog posts fast enough before something else happens. Here is a brief re-cap of the events from this month:

APRIL 7, 2011:

We were thrilled to learn that the Arkansas Supreme Court struck down the state ban on fostering or adoption by cohabiting unmarried couples in a decision issued on April 7, 2011.  Prior to this new decision, an individual could not adopt or foster a child if that person was “cohabiting with a sexual partner outside of a marriage that is valid under the Arkansas Constitution and the laws of this state.”  This was not a statute that discriminated on its fact against same-sex couples as it also applied to unmarried different-sex couples.  However, the concern of course was that in Arkansas a same-sex couple could not remedy the problem by entering into a marriage while a different-sex couple had the remedy of marriage.

This law was found to be unconstitutional by the Arkansas Supreme Court because it substantially and directly burdened the Appellant and interfered with his fundamental right to privacy  that the Arkansas Constitution provided to its citizens.  Privacy was not had because the government had to look into the private, consensual, intimate sexual conduct of the individuals who were seeking to be foster parents or to adopt.  Most importantly, the decision made clear that the home studies, as they were conducted prior to the enactment of the law, were sufficient for the needs of the children of the State of Arkansas.

April 12, 2011

On April 12, 2011, an article was posted on the Internet titled “Couple are ordered to pay surrogate mother £568 a month for the baby they will never see“.  The article claims that the couple had already lost custody of their baby daughter to the surrogate mother. The intended parents, after six late-stage miscarriages, used a surrogacy website to find a surrogate.  They made an informal agreement to pay her £10,000 in expenses.  This was a traditional surrogacy, meaning the surrogate was biologically related to the child.  The surrogate 1/2 way through the process decided she wanted to keep the baby.  Later in the process the intended parents relinquished their contact rights for emotional reasons and stating that it was unfair for the baby to be split between two homes.  The allowed the surrogate to keep the compensation she had received to date, £4,500.  However, the surrogate has now obtained an Order that forces the Intended Parents, who do not have any contact with their baby, to pay £568 per month in child support.  This is a sad scenario.  It once again reiterates our advice to our clients:  (1) Use legitimate agencies that you have fully researched; (2) Always use attorneys; and (3) Steer away from traditional surrogacy (a surrogacy where the surrogate uses her own eggs in the process and is biologically related to the child).

April 13, 2011

On April 13, 2011, News came out of a Human Egg Donor buy generic proscar uk Antitrust Class Action Lawsuit Complaint that was filed over alleged price fixing of human egg donor services that was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California challenging the efforts of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) to set maximum compensation parameters for commercial egg donation.  The complaint alleges that ASRM and SART are engaging in “price fixing” in violation of federal anti-trust laws.  ASRM and SART guidelines were set to assure that women are not receiving fees that are so excessive that they constitute undue inducement.  The plaintiffs in the class action appear to acknowledge that purpose.  The area of egg donation and payment for egg donation is ripe for legal action and many states have not dealt with the problem within their own laws.  Nevada is one of those states.  Our law is clear on sperm donations but does not provide framework for egg donations or embryo donations.  It will be interesting to see how this lawsuit plays out.

April 13, 2011

On April 12 and then revised on April 13, 2011, a 73 page decision was issued from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (in Louisiana).  It is a sad and shocking decision.  They decided that the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution does not require states to issue new birth certificates for children born in their states but adopted elsewhere, if the out-of-state adoption is not of a type allowed under the birth state’s laws.  This is in direct contradiction to everything we have relied on in the past and what we know about Full Faith and Credit Clause.  We have always told our Clients that an Adoption Order is what they want to have in their hands because Full Faith and Credit will be on their side.

The case at issue in the Appeal was a gay couple that was from New York who adopted a child New York that was born in Louisiana.  The adoption was valid and legal in New York.  Louisiana does not allow unmarried couples to jointly adopt children.  Thus, the department in Louisiana that was in charge of birth certificates refused to issue a new birth certificate with both fathers’ names on it.  The lower court ruled in favor of the gay couple finding that Full Faith and Credit applies and a new birth certificate had to be issued.  The Appeals Court overturned the lower court’s decision, finding they did not have to issue a new birth certificate.

The decision is 73 pages of utter sadness.  It is really a description of why it is okay for a state to discriminate against children adopted by unmarried couples.  It is a depressing decision.  It reminds me of the days when the law referenced bastard children and distinguished between “legitimate” and “illegitimate” children.  My hope is that this case is appealed to the US Supreme Court and that the decision is reversed.

Domestic Partnership Tax Requirements

If you are a registered domestic partner in a community property state (Nevada, California or Washington) the IRS now requires you to split your community income on your 2010 Federal returns. You have the option to amend your returns back to 2007 (depending on what year you became domestic partners).

For Nevada registered domestic partners, your registration can only date back to October 2009 when the Nevada Domestic Partner registry went into effect. However, if you were registered in another state prior to October 2009 you may still want to amend your how to buy proscar online prior returns. April 15, 2011 is the last day to amend 2007 for most couples so it is important to speak to your accountant regarding these matters as soon as possible.

Beware, if you use software and not a professional to do your taxes it is not beleived that anyone has developed software to deal with this nuance at this time. There is the right tool for every job and if you are a domestic partner in one of these three states then an accountant is the right tool for you.

Obama administration instructs DOJ to no longer defend DOMA

A statement was released today, February 23, 2011, by the Attorney General on the litigation related to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  The announcement stated that Obama has determined that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that defines a married couple for federal law purposes as a man and a woman is unconstitutional.  He has instructed the Department of Justice to not defend the statute in the Second Circuit.  The statement itself can be found athttp://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2011/February/11-ag-222.html.

The following conclusions were made by the President:

  • Given a number of factors, including a documented history of discrimination, classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to a more buy proscar from india heightened standard of scrutiny.
  • Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional.

What does this mean?  It means that the DOJ will not defend the constitutionality of Section 3 of DOMA.  The Attorney General has noted that they work closely with the courts to ensure that Congress has a full and fair opportunity to participate in the pending litigation.  DOMA is still in place and will still be enforced by the Executive Branch until either Congress repeals it or there is a final judicial finding that strikes it down.

Parenting by Gays More Common in the South, Census Shows

Gay couples in Southern states like Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas are more likely to be raising children than their counterparts on the West Coast, in New York and in New England. … About 32 percent of gay couples in Jacksonville are raising children … second only to San Antonio, buy finasteride no prescription uk where the rate is about 34 percent. … Black or Latino gay couples are twice as likely as whites to be raising children … In 2009, the Census Bureau estimated that there were 581,000 same-sex couples in the United States, the bureau does not count gay singles. …

Reno’s First Baby of 2011 Born to Same Sex Couple

The Reno Gazette Journal reported on January 2, 2011 that the first baby born in the year 2011 in Reno, Nevada was to a same sex couple at Renown Medical Center.  The newspaper didn’t say a word about them being a same sex couple (good for them) but the couple’s picture was in the newspaper.

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