MALONEY STATEMENT ON HOPE FOR CHILDREN ACT
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, when the Hope for Children Act was debated on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), an adoption advocate, delivered the following remarks.
"Mr. Speaker I am honored to take the floor in support of the Hope for Children Act. Today, there are over 30,000 children in New York City's foster care and adoption system. This bill could help the more than 3000 children in New York City that are still waiting to be adopted.
"Children's issues, and more specifically adoption and promoting foster care, have been a very important part of my career as a legislator. The Hope for Children Act is a significant, pro-family measure. I was pleased when President Clinton signed the Adoption Tax Credit into law in 1996 and then added additional foster care measures so that every child has a chance. The Hope for Children Act eases the cost of adoption by increasing the adoption tax credit to $10,000 for all adoptions and increase the employer adoption assistance exclusion to $10,000. Every child deserves a loving family. I am proud to take the floor to provide assistance to those families who wish to add a child to their lives.
"All parents today face the stark reality that raising children - although wonderful and a true joy - is also increasingly expensive. The simple cost of going through the adoption process can be very expensive.
"I am hopeful that in this Congress we will also be able to address the needs of parents who wish to adopt special needs children. The one issue that the bill does not adequately address is assisting families with the adoption of children with special needs. These children are often older, have handicaps, and medical conditions. Again, I urge my colleagues to address this particular issue in the future, we must also consider these children and families.
"Again, I applaud the bipartisan leadership on this bill. With so many children in need of homes it morally right for Congress to relieve some of the financial burden for these families. All Members of Congress know that our doors are continually being beaten on by those seeking tax benefits for specific special interests. Children in need of adoption have no high priced lobbyists or political action committees. Their voices often fail to be heard in today's Washington. I am pleased to stand here in support of them today."