07 January 2010

Tax Deductions for Disposable Kids?

Synopsis of article:

Waah! We were only able to have one child, and we wanted another boy about the same age as ours for his company, figuring it would be better than springing for a dog that would wet on the floor and bark at night. What better way to get a kid than to ask the government for one of the extras they have on hand already? Then we could train him up, raise him right (you know, as though he came biologically from a *decent* family like ours?) and get a tax deduction to boot!

Yippeee! Now we won't have to be sad that we can only have one kid and/or I won't have to worry about gaining weight and being a fat pig... like the kid's biological mother.

Can I just go off on the kid's biological mother a sec? Ok, thanks. Um, she's a selfish little twit who doesn't have custody. I'm going to disclose private information about her problems for public consumption in this article because I'm mad about taxes and stuff. I'm also going to write alllll about how egocentric she is for turning in her big gas guzzling car for something smaller, newer and more fuel efficient, even though she rarely is able to keep her children over (gossip about reason/ her problems). I'm going to act surprised while I write this article that families whose children are in foster care sometimes have problems and stuff.

Anyway... we kept this brat of a kid for just over six realllly long months. He was like family! Or, at least until we traded him in because we couldn't stand him. He didn't get along well with OUR little Precious Man, but we were sad to see him go. Really sad. He behaved badly! Defective goods! You understand. Thanks.

But since we put up with the twirp for so long, we deserve a tax deduction for this! It isn't fair that the mom might maybe get one, even though I know nothing about her financial situation and whether a tax deduction would make any blessed difference. I'm going to whine about it anyway.

Waah! I want a tax deduction! The mom isn't perfect like I am, so I should get one, not her.

Waah! I want a tax deduction! Waah! It isn't fair! Waah! Waah! Waah! And now I'm going to act all sad that other moms who are *great* like me might not enter the foster care system. I'm just sure it's alllll because of the lack of a tax deduction.

(Disclaimer: the foster families I know have never been this petty. It's a hard job. Placements sometimes don't work out. But wow.)

9 comments:

  1. I was prepared to hate the article after I read your post, but I didn't. I can see why you disliked it so much and it could seem like she is whining only about a tax deduction--but I don't think that's all there is to it.

    I know I have often wondered why it is okay for my children's birth mothers to go on conceiving children and either aborting them or making a comfortable living for 9 mos by adopting them out (housing, food, medical, schooling--all paid, as well as, a monthly allowance--from a private adoption agency). My son's birth mother has given birth to 5 children in 6 years--all under the financial care of an adoption agency until she changed her mind at the last minute and then the state took them away when they all tested positive for drugs. When her Granny said no to number 5--he was placed for adoption and we were blessed with him. My daughter's birth mother has placed two children voluntarily with her parents, all the while she claims them as tax deductions. For the last 3 years we have watched and waited at tax season for her to follow through on her great plans for a car that will get her to work and a new apartment. It never happens. Hair, nails, and new coach high heeled shoes happen. We've given her money for school and watched her piss it away, because partying is just more fun. She's currently on her 5th abortion and/or live birth in less then 5 years (she hasn't decided yet). Sometimes, the system and the rules don't seem to apply fairly. Sometimes, I have to wonder why there is no incentive in place for these women to make decent lives for their children or not to get pregnant at all.

    And, yea, there probably is a little bit of anger and jealousy involved (like, I imagine, with the author of the article) that my heart's desire would be to give birth to half a dozen kids (or more), but my body doesn't work that way--with or without a tax deduction.

    I guess a better article from this woman might have been to gripe about how unfair things can be. Wouldn't it be more "fair" for everyone involved if her foster son's birth mother would just care as much about her children as she does herself? And wouldn't it be more fair if all of the children whose families have to place children in foster care voluntarily could get the help they need before they have to place their children? I would gladly forfeit my tax deduction for that.

    Bonnie

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  2. I agree with you. I think her tone and attitude stink. I think the gossipy way she went on about the mother's cars had nothing to do with the issue at hand and revealed how petty she is.

    But I also agree with her. It really isn't right for a birth parent to be able to deduct taxes for caring for a child they didn't care for while the person who actually bore the expenses for caring for the child cannot.

    Now, if she was getting a monthly stipend from the state for caring for the child (which I thought most states paid foster parents) then she needs to be silent. To get a monthly stipend, and a tax break would be double dipping. Unless of course, she has to claim thatmoney as income, in which case, we're back to square one and she's right.

    The whole point of the child tax credit IS to help and acknowledge that parents incur huge expenses in providing for their kids. to give a deduction to a praent who is not, in fact, providing for the kid defeats the purpose of the tax break, no?

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  3. Bonnie, I guess my point was that these kids are USUALLY in state care for a reason. Going on and on about the bio mom isn't really the point... whether or not it is true. You take on the job KNOWING the parents are dysfunctional.

    But look: for all she gripes about the mom's irresponsibility, she turns around and GIVES THE KID BACK after six months?? That was what got me. She's no dedicated parent, but she wants a deduction anyway.

    Terry, I agree about her tone, etc. But she gave the kid back after HALF a year, and she wants a deduction anyway... seems to me that the foster system should be the one getting the deduction as they incurred the expense of training new foster parents and placing the child AGAIN.

    I dunno, just a thought. I wouldn't want the state to feel it gets lots of money to do this stuff to families.

    The good guys in the article seem to be the new family that took the child in, but they get only one sentence. Given this woman's tone, probably just as well. :)

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  4. Never considered the tax implications of taking on the two girls. ...but... yeah, that is interesting. Suppose my situation lasted longer (like a year); it would be odd not to get a tax break. Not that I'm going to whine about it or anything, but that is odd.

    Yesterday was a very bad day at our house. ...kinda makes me want to wine about money because at least that's something tangible that others can relate to. [sigh] Some days are just really, really bad.

    ~Luke

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  5. She definitely is whining! First she complains that people with more children (the mightier your uterus) get bigger tax breaks. Then she complains of the expense of having a child (which is much greater than any tax break) which is the reason for the tax break to begin with. However, she seems to fail to mention that foster parents are already compensated to provide that care. They are given monthly checks specifically for the care of the child they in their home. As someone mentioned, to get a tax break for it as well would be double dipping. It makes no sense to get a tax break for something you were PAID to do! She needs to think things through before ranting publicly. It just made her look selfish, cheap and foolish.

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  6. Luke, you have done an EXCELLENT JOB of relating the fact that there are "issues" with the family of origin, extraordinary circumstances, drama and the like... without publicly humiliating the children's parents. :)

    Actually what I would be MOST CONCERNED for your family would be health insurance for the children. I don't know how you guys have worked it/ it's none of my business... but off the top of my head, I could see major debts and problems if that issue weren't worked out. Paying for an extra winter parka and maybe some curriculum you'll use again later is one thing... $80,000 in medical bills might just be quite another if an appendix needs fixing or etc.

    Lori, thanks for commenting! I know this writer is probably very frustrated with the bio mom's situation... but it just wasn't the place to air those grievances IMO. It sure came out as sour grapes because she was unable/unwilling/ whatever to have more children.

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  7. I think the point made that most foster parents (at least all the ones I personally know) are already paid by the state for taking in children is a very good one. If they were doing it for free, maybe they should get the deduction, but they shouldn't be double-paid so to speak. I don't think they're paid enough, but then it's not necessarily supposed to be about the money..right?

    This woman's "issues" with the birth mother puts her in a very scary light. I can almost picture her foaming at the mouth as she speaks. Enough already! NO, it should not be a profitable business to bear children which you do not plan to raise yourself, but that's the way it is. Whining and complaining won't change that.

    This article makes me glad I actually know some very special people who are foster parents. I wouldn't want this woman to be my lasting impression in that area.

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  8. My heart bleeds for the poor kid! To change moms every six month or so! No wonder he was awful. Dedicated mothers do not call children "twirps" and "brats" and "defective goods" they do not "trade them in". They just love the child for who he/ she is.
    Years ago I did voluntary work at a children's home and it was so sad to see so many of them, not being able to bond because of so many previously failed relationships.

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  9. Having been a foster mom and having adopted the child placed in my home whose behavior was very bad (in fact, she had failed an adoption at her previous placement because of her behavior)...

    Kids in foster care have behavioral problems. It is nowhere near normal to move from home to home every 6 months and begin calling new adults mom and dad. Kids in foster care have "issues" related to physical, emotional and spiritual abuse. Kids in care have more than likely been prenatally exposed to alcohol and drugs and may be developmentally disabled because of that. If you don't want that sort of thing in your home. Don't parent kids in care. Period. Truthfully, I didn't know exactly what I was getting into and there are times I don't want this sort of thing in my home either. But...

    In 2007, Texas, where the woman writing the article is from, paid foster parents a monthly stipend of a minimum of $652 per child. I don't have time to search for more recent numbers. Foster care payments are tax free income! The state picks up 100% of the child's medical care. The child is eligible for free school lunches. Why, when I did foster care, the state (Washington) even paid my childcare expenses. There is no way a foster parent should be able to claim a foster child on their taxes.

    And, it is the attitude expressed in this article that make Americans believe it is legitimate and caring to invest millions of dollars in the foster care system and not spend a dime on keeping families intact.

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Non-troll comments always welcome! :)