Act Now to Help The Family Act & The Adoption Tax Credit

I've Called, Have You?Congress is back in session, after their nice long holiday break. Now is the perfect time to call them up and let them know that hey: infertility matters and the 7.3 million Americans living with infertility could use their legislative help.

“But Keiko,” I hear you saying, “It’s a lame duck session.”

True. But just because a good chunk of these folks might be on their way out at the end of the year doesn’t mean they still don’t have a TON of work to do before then. Like, yanno – that whole fiscal cliff thing. But there are also two very important other items on their agenda before these lame ducks quack goodbye to 2012: The Family Act and the Adoption Tax Credit. And with the end of this legislative session looming closer and closer, the time to act is now.

I’ve written at length about The Family Act before. Basically, The Family Act would provide a tax credit for out-of-pocket costs associated with IVF. Modeled after the very popular and successful Adoption Tax Credit, The Family Act could provide huge financial relief for millions of Americans paying out-of-pocket for their IVF treatments. There are caveats and limits, like any tax credit bill, but that’s the gist of it.

I’ve not written a lot about the Adoption Tax Credit, however. For this, I’m going to hand off basic “tell it like it is” duties to RESOLVE New England, who had a comprehensive post on the current status of the Adoption Tax Credit a couple of months ago here: 10 Things You Need to Know About the Adoption Tax Credit and How You Can Help Save It.

In a nutshell, the Adoption Tax Credit, which has provided financial relief to adoptive families for FIFTEEN years now, is set to expire on December 31st of this year (like many of the other laws, credits and tax cuts contributing to that whole fiscal cliff issue). Currently, there are both House and Senate bills in the works that would save the Adoption Tax Credit by extending its benefits beyond the end of this year.

How You Can Help In Just 10 Minutes, Right Now

I get asked this question a lot: “How can I become an infertility advocate?” The answer is shockingly simple.

Speak up. Be heard. Don’t wait for someone else to advocate for you. Advocate for yourself.

Tuesday through Thursday of this week, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association is hosting a Congressional Call Week. Helping to support The Family Act and saving the Adoption Tax Credit is as easy as picking up the phone.

Infertility advocacy is literally as simple as four steps:

  1. Know who to call. Look up your House Representatives and Senators in one place right here by popping in your zip code. Voila! Your elected officials.
  2. Call 202-225-3121, the main switchboard. Ask to be transferred to your House Representative.
  3. Say hello and your name, city and state and follow RESOLVE’s handy script here.
  4. Lather, rinse, repeat steps 2 and 3 for each of your Senators. BAM! Infertility advocacy. *drops mic*

They really can’t make this any easier and it takes about 10-15 minutes, tops.

Time is of the essence. RESOLVE is pushing for calls to be made through tomorrow. At work? No biggie. Just take 10-15 minutes of your lunch break to make a difference. Feeling like earning extra credit points? Follow up with an email to your elected officials tomorrow.

The only way legislation like this happens is when your elected officials hear from their constituents about issues that matter to them. So if The Family Act and the Adoption Tax Credit matter to you, if you want Congress to know that infertility matters to you…

Pick up the phone. Make the calls. Do your part to make a difference.

Bonus: Did you call your Representative and Senators? How did it go? Let me know here and definitely share your progress with RESOLVE at their Facebook page. Let’s do this!

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