There are 5,000 children in foster care in Alabama and nearly 500 are awaiting adoption. Jessica Mclaughlin who works with the Houston County Department of Human Resources said the need for adoptive parents is overwhelming. She said they get calls from people wanting to help, but they don’t understand the process. DHR offers potential adoptive parents and foster families a chance to learn more about important issues concerning the adoption experience through Group Preparation and Selection (GPS) meetings. “A lot of people come in a say I've heard the stories, but they have no idea how it works. We're here to give that information. How do kids come into care and how do they become available for adoption. "
This program isn’t the only step involved with adoption. There are also fees and other expenses associated with the process. To help, State Representative Paul Lee of Dothan has filed a bill that will provide a $1,000 tax credit to Alabama families who adopt a child who lives in the state. It's known as the Alabama Adoption Tax Credit. “A lot of time the cost is unknown when you start the process so you're just going out on faith when you do it. This is just an added value that we all will benefit from. It will not only help get the child out of DHR, but it helps that young couple that's working every day “said Lee.
He expects the bill to pass, but he's also believes some may have a few questions. “ I expect to here why not more or why just children in the state Alabama? If we see we can afford more, we may increase that number," Lee continued.
He also adds that this tax credit should never be a reason to adopt.