Oklahoma Senate approves bill creating tax credit for adoption expenses

Oklahoma City – The full Senate has given approval to a bill creating an income tax credit to help defray some of the costs associated with adoptions. Senator Chuck Hall, R-Perry, is the principal Senate author of House Bill 3088. Representative Kyle Hilbert, R-Bristow, is principal House author of the measure.

While many services and costs of adoptions through the Department of Human Services (DHS) are covered by the state, private adoptions can cost prospective parents an average of about $41,532 per adoption in the U.S., which includes court-related costs, health and psychological exams, medical expenses and other costs outlined in statute.

Hall said this issue was a very personal one for him.

“I’m blessed because I had a biological mother who chose life and I was blessed by wonderful adoptive parents who gave me love, support, guidance and opportunities that enabled me to have a wonderful life,” Hall reflected in a legislative press release sent to CapitolBeatOK.com and other news organizations.“Helping encourage more adoptions in Oklahoma is as pro-life as it can be, and I am excited about passing legislation to help and support families who want to open their hearts and homes to children through adoption.”

Currently, Oklahoma has a tax deduction available for parents who opt for a private adoption, which is equal to 4.75 percent of the cost incurred for tax year 2022. Under H.B. 3088, that deduction would be replaced with a 10 percent tax credit for adoption expenses of up to $2,000 for an individual or up to $4,000 for joint filers. According to the release, this change would give much greater financial support for those seeking private adoption and could even be used by those adopting through DHS to cover out-of-pocket expenses.

“We all know adoption is incredibly expensive,” Hilbert said.”As a state, we want to do all we can to assist families with this process. We don’t want cost to be a barrier for any child in need to enter a forever home where they are loved and cared for. Doubling the amount allowed as a tax credit will help ease this burden.”

The amended proposal secured 43-0 support in the upper chamber, with five members excused. As a result of the Senate vote, H.B. 3088 now returns to the House for further consideration.

Note: Patrick B. McGuigan, publisher of CapitolBeatOK.com, contributed to this report. An independent, non-partisan and locally-managed news service, CapitolBeatOK.com was founded in 2009.