Embryo adoption makes a prominent appearance in two pieces of legislation introduced this month in Congress. Both U.S. House and Senate versions of proposed law would make families in which a mother is carrying an embryo-adopted baby in the womb eligible for a child tax credit.
Even though I’m skeptical about the odds of success for either measure — the sponsors all are members of the Republican Party, suggesting no bipartisan will to collaborate on the issue at this juncture — it’s noteworthy that our federal representatives cared enough to include embryo adoption alongside natural pregnancy. It is an important step forward in acknowledging the value of all pre-born human life in a way that is unusually public and prominent.
Here’s the interesting part: Both bills are reintroductions of measures that failed to advance in the last session of Congress. But those older versions included zero references to embryo adoption. In the newly reintroduced versions, it’s clear embryo adoption is eligible for this proposed credit. (Readers, if you know who successfully worked with these legislatures to include the embryo adoption provision, please email me — I’d love to share the full story with our community here at Frozen, But Not Forgotten. Thanks in advance!)
You’ll find this overview of the Child Tax Credit for Pregnant Moms Act of 2019 helpful. Here is the key new provision on embryo adoption:
“the term ‘embryo adoption’ means the lawful transfer of an unborn child at the embryonic stage of development into the womb of a woman who is not the biological mother of such child, and intends to bear and to be the permanent mother of such child.”
If you and your spouse are considering embryo adoption, it’s encouraging to know that there might eventually be a time in U.S. history when incentives exist to support your decision. And though it’s not likely to lower your tax bill anytime soon, the fact that there is some level of support in Congress is encouraging.
Make no mistake: Your decision matters. Your words matter. Your hope and dreams and family building choices matter.
As the bill’s House sponsor, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) noted when he introduced the legislation in 2018:
“It's simple: expectant mothers and fathers deserve the same financial assistance and tax credit benefits to begin planning for a new child as parents blessed with children already born. The work, care, and costs associated with motherhood begin long before a child is born.”
This isn’t a blog about tax policy or telling you which party to support based on credits that might never materialize. But every so often, events such as these remind us that each of us can make a difference, and the message of embryo adoption resonates more than we might realize.
I’ll keep you posted on new developments. Until then, consider sending a thank-you note to these legislators who have made a commitment to embryo adoption and families touched by this issue as part of these bills. They include:
Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT)
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE)
Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE)
Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND)
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA)
Sen. James Lankford (R-OK)
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC)
Rep. Randy K. Weber Sr. (R-TX)
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ)
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL)
Rep. David P. Roe (R-TN)
Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN)
Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC)
Rep. Roger W. Marshall (R-KS)
Rep. Trent Kelly (R-MS)
Rep. John Joyce (R-PA)
Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO)
Rep. Lee M. Zeldin (R-NY)
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO)
Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL)
Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL)