DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa House of Representatives on Wednesday night voted 93 to 1 in favor of a bill, HF 369, that would double the state’s adoption tax credit in two years.
The bill sailed through subcommittee and committee unanimously.
Iowa law currently caps the adoption tax credit that Iowans can claim against their income taxes at $5,000 per adoption for qualified adoption expenses. Under the legislation, the tax credit would increase to $7,500 in 2022 and increase to $10,000 in 2023.
State Reps. Brian Lohse, R-Bondurant, Joe Mitchell, R-Mount Pleasant, and Garrett Gobble, R-Ankeny sponsored the bill.
Lohse explained why the bill was important to him during floor debate.
“Many of you may know that I’m adopted. My entire family, as a matter of fact, my three siblings are all adopted, a couple cousins were adopted. Adoption runs a long history in my family,” he said. “And I truly appreciate everyone who takes someone into their home that came from someone else it’s an amazing thing.”
Lohse said this bill is vital for pro-life Iowans.
“On a number of occasions, you all have challenged us to think about if we’re so protective of life, what are we going to do about adoption? How are we going to strengthen that? Well, I’ve taken your challenge, I accept your challenge. And I apologize for taking two years to get there,” he said.
Lohse said he spoke to several people involved with private adoptions and foster care adoptions asking how to make the process more affordable.
“This is the first step, an easy step, I hope, I think, and I hope you all would support it. And I promise you that we’ll keep bringing bills as we try to look for those ways and as we accept your challenge and hopefully meet your challenge,” he concluded.
State Rep. Timi Brown-Powers, D-Waterloo, was on the subcommittee for the bill.
“This is a good bill. You know, the average cost for an adoption can run between $35,000 to $45,000. And so any way that we can help families build and expand their family is a good thing—bringing in those babies that need a home. That’s important. So I hope that we can all support this bill. In fact, I hope that in the future. I know Representative Jones (State Rep. Megan Jones, R-Sioux Rapids, was on the subcommittee) is on board that we can lower this cost even further for families,” she said.
Mitchell, who was the floor manager for the bill, shared why it was important to him.
“This bill is near and dear to my heart. Because my younger sister, Isabella, was adopted from Guatemala 14 years ago. And remember my parents bringing her home from the airport at midnight, while my brothers and I stayed up eagerly waiting to see our new baby sister,” he said.
“More recently, my brother and my sister in law have adopted two beautiful nieces, Addy and Annie Mitchell, who unfortunately were born into neglected homes with parents that weren’t equipped to be parents. And by the grace of God, were removed from that home and now live a life of comfort with a family that loves them and Uncle Joe that spoils them,” Mitchell shared.
“This piece of legislation is an important bipartisan piece of legislation. I know that each and every one of us in this room want children to be taken care of and grow up in a loving household, and particularly for those of us that consider ourselves pro-life, like Representative Lohse explained, we must do everything possible to make sure that adoption is as easy as possible, so no child is forced to be born to a neglected family,” he concluded.
State Rep. Bruce Hunter, D-Des Moines, was the only person to vote against this bill. The Iowa Torch reached out to the lawmaker for a comment but did not hear back before publication.