By Megan Monsour –
I’ve recently become obsessed with Hamilton, the Broadway musical. I know, I know, I’m a little late to the party. Most of you have probably been singing along for two years now. If you aren’t, let me tell you, it is worthy of the hype it has received.
I was preparing a short speech about the adoption tax credit while humming one of my favorite Hamilton songs, when it occurred to me that Alexander Hamilton and the adoption tax credit are inextricably linked. What does one of our founding fathers have to do with a vital piece of America’s adoption landscape? The history buffs may already know.
For twenty years the adoption tax credit has provided financial assistance to adoptive families. These funds have given many families the ability to adopt a child, something they could not have done without the relief of the adoption tax credit provided by the U.S. Federal Government functioning under the financial system masterminded by Alexander Hamilton.
Hamilton was an orphan from the West Indies. He was left to rely on only himself, like so many children in foster care today. Alexander’s island community raised money to send him to school in America, not unlike the idea that tax dollars should offset the cost of adoption, encouraging families to adopt. Alexander’s wife, Eliza, founded the first private orphanage in New York City. Alexander and Eliza were adoptive parents, adopting a young girl who needed a home and love – the kind of love that the tax credit enables new adoptive parents to provide children all over our country.
The adoption tax credit is in real danger of being eliminated with the passage of tax reform in the near future. The elimination of the adoption tax credit would devastate many potential adoptive families, along with the hopes and dreams of their future children.
Alexander Hamilton worked and wrote vehemently to better his new country. Luckily, you don’t have to write The Federalist Papers to make a difference – you don’t have to write anything. The best way to fight to keep the adoption tax credit is to make a video and send it to your representatives.
Making your voice heard is as easy as picking up your smartphone and following these simple instructions:
1. Go to www.adoptiontaxcredit.org
2. Click “Take Action”
3. Make a short video about why the tax credit is so important
4. Click Send Video
5. The website will automatically send your video to your member of Congress
6. Pass it on
The orphanage founded by Eliza Hamilton over 200 years ago, Graham Windham, still serves children today in NYC – children like the young girl the Hamiltons adopted. Children, like so many other children and families across the country, who would be negatively effected if the adoption tax credit were to be eliminated. As adoptive families and organizations mobilize to keep the adoption tax credit, I hope we can all channel our founding fathers and mothers and fight for it. To borrow a phrase from Hamilton, let’s “not throw away our shot” at keeping the adoption tax credit.
This article was originally published on Wichita Mom on June 20, 2017.