NewsMontana and Regional News


Kalispell family shares how Montana Adoption Tax Credit impacted them

Dexter Family adoption tax credit
Posted at 10:03 AM, Apr 20, 2024

KALISPELL — The Montana Adoption Tax Credit is a one-time refundable credit for families who have adopted and was passed by the Montana Legislature in 2023.

MTN spoke with one adoptive family to hear their story and see how the adoptive tax credit helped them in their journey.

“Our story is my husband and I started the adoption process back in 2020 and we waited about two-and-a-half years before we got the phone call of our daughter being available for adoption. We got about 12 hours' worth of notice to head south and pick her up so now she's about two years old,” said adoptive mother Amy Dexter.

The Dexter family’s dreams came true when they adopted their little girl. But along with the waiting and uncertainty of adoption is the cost of adoption.

Amy Dexter Adoption
The Dexter family’s dreams came true when they adopted their little girl. But along with the waiting and uncertainty of adoption came the cost of adoption.

“It's spendy. You have like the adoption fees, the parenting fees, the trainings, the cost of going to and from the different areas of the state to do your training and meet with your adoption counselors and those kinds of things,” said Amy.

The new Montana Adoption Tax Credit allows families who adopted on or after July 1st, 2022, to be eligible for a one-time refundable credit. For private adoptions, families are eligible for $5,000 and families adopting out of the Montana foster care system are eligible for $7,500.

However, adoptive parents must apply for this credit through their 2023 taxes.

“So we ended up borrowing some money from my parents to help us get everything finalized. So it allowed us to pay that all back and just be able to set us up to have some money for the unknowns. You know, we don't know what will come of her. No idea what her medical history is or anything like that. So just being able to have that cushion to help with those unknown expenses someday." - Amy Dexter

The goal of getting the bill passed in the Montana legislature was to make it easier for families to adopt and as Amy says, it has done just that.

“If the money is a barrier, it's just kind of gives you that hope that you can have that to look forward to — if and when — your adoption gets finalized. So I think that helps give people that opportunity to do something that maybe they wouldn't normally be able to if, if with finances being a barrier,” said Amy.

While this tax credit will not cover the entire cost of adoption, it is a way to help families achieve their dreams of having a child.

“Adoption's the best thing you can do. It's the best adventure we've had. So she's the best thing to come to our family,” said Amy.