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Governor advances pro-family agenda

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News from the office of Governor Gianforte

    HELENA — To support Montana families and help reduce the number of children in foster care, Governor Greg Gianforte signed a bill on May 16 into law to establish an adoption tax credit in Montana.

“It’s not enough just to stand for life. We must also do all we can to make Montana families stronger and help them prosper,” Gov. Gianforte said. “Through adoption, parents provide children with the gift of family, and with an adoption tax credit, we’re making it easier for Montanans to open their happy, healthy, loving homes to children.”

Sponsored by Rep. Courtenay Sprunger, R-Kalispell, House Bill 225 makes it easier for Montanans to open their homes to children by providing an adoption tax credit of $5,000, or $7,500 if the child is adopted within Montana.

“I’ve heard from many families across Montana that have reinforced the importance of this tax credit and the need for our children to find a way forward with a family. We can all agree that children in foster care deserve a hope, a family, and a future, and the families willing to open their loving homes to them need our support,” Rep. Sprunger said.

In 2021, about 3,400 children in Montana were in the foster care system due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Of those children, 680 were waiting to be adopted, and in 2019, about 1 in 5 Montana kids in the foster care system exited the system through adoption.

Since the governor took office, the state has finalized a total of 725 adoptions since January 2021 with approximately 2,500 children in foster care today.

According to the National Council for Adoption, taxpayers save $15,500 for state and federal expenditures for each child adopted out of the foster care system.

Yet, the high cost of adoption is often an obstacle for families looking to adopt a child. According to the Family Equality Council, the cost of adoption can exceed $40,000.

The adoption tax credit was a key proposal in the governor’s Budget for Montana Families.


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