Weekend Miracles: How an International Adoption Recruitment Strategy Helps Parents for Children in Foster Care

Weekend Miracles Los Angeles, now entering its second decade, offers a unique and proven approach to creating forever families and lasting connections for adolescents who are languishing in foster care in Los Angeles.  Since the program’s official launch in 2006, Weekend Miracles has been a resounding success, having recruited adopt families, legal guardians, and lasting connections for 75 percent of participating children.

Download the complete article written by Deborah Dentler here.

NACAC Is Offering a Webinar on the Adoption Tax Credit – February 2nd

On February 2nd at 2pm central (3pm eastern, 1pm mountain, noon pacific), NACAC’s adoption tax credit expert, Josh Kroll, will present a webinar on the federal adoption tax credit.  Participants will learn the steps they need to take to file for 2015, but it will also cover applying for the credit for adoptions as far back as 2012.  Josh will explain what parents need to do to take advantage of the credit.

The webinar is $15 for NACAC members and $20 for non-members. Payment is accepted by credit card or PayPal.

Register for the webinar here.


Scholarships available for the NACAC Conference

NACAC LogoLos Angeles County DCFS has a limited number of scholarships available for select parents and workers to attend the NACAC conference — Thursday, July 30 to Saturday, August 1, with an all-day pre-conference session by Dr. Dan Siegel on Wednesday, July 29.

Scholarships are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Click here for information on all the sessions, the conference schedule.

Scholarships are open to parents who meet at least one of the following criteria:

Parent Scholarships:

  • Are adoptive parents who adopted through Los Angeles County DCFS or a Foster Family Agency serving the county
  • Are state-licensed (not certified) foster parents serving Los Angeles County
  • Are relative or non-relative extended family member (NREFM) caregivers serving children through Los Angeles County DCFS

NACAC Resource Parent Scholarship Registration Form

DCFS Staff Scholarships:

The DCFS staff scholarships are open to all staff of Los Angeles County DCFS. The scholarship covers registration fees for the pre-conference session by Dr. Dan Siegel on Wednesday, July 29, and registration for the conference on Thursday and Friday. It does not cover Saturday’s workshops or luncheon, although attendees can pay their own way to attend on Saturday if they’d like.

NACAC DCFS Staff Scholarship Registration Form


Adoption Tax Credit Is Made Permanent

The legislation to avoid the fiscal cliff (the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, signed into law on January 2) included a provision that made the adoption tax credit permanent. Unfortunately it did not make the adoption credit refundable, so it will only benefit those adoptive families who have federal income tax liability.

For 2013, we believe the maximum adoption credit and exclusion will be slightly higher than the 2012 maximum of $12,650. The credit will begin to phase out for families with modified adjusted gross incomes above a certain level (around $190,000) and the credit will go away completely for those with incomes around $230,000. (Exact numbers for the maximum credit and income guidelines have yet to be released.)

For 2013 and beyond, the credit will remain flat for special needs adoptions, meaning that those who adopt children from the U.S. who receive adoption assistance/adoption subsidy benefits can claim the maximum credit regardless of their expenses. For other adoptions (except for step-parent adoptions), parents can claim the credit based on their qualified adoption expenses.

NACAC is deeply disappointed Congress did not make the adoption tax credit refundable for 2012 or future years, and will continue to advocate for refundability in the future.  We will keep you posted on these advocacy efforts.

Even though the credit isn’t refundable for 2012, we encourage those who adopted in 2012 to submit a Form 8839 with their 2012 taxes even if they do not have tax liability. Although they will not receive an adoption credit refund with their 2012 taxes, the credit can be carried forward up to five additional years. Families might benefit later if either their tax situation changes or the credit is made refundable in the future, and then wouldn’t have to amend their 2012 taxes.

Source: NACAC January 3rd, 2012 newsletter. For more information regarding the adoption credit and more, visit the NACAC website here.

Free Adoption Webinar by North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC)

Date: September 25, 2012

Time: 12:00-1:00 PST, 2:00PM – 3:00PM CDT

Location: Online Webinar


In this free webinar from NACAC, you’ll learn the basics of adoption assistance for children adopted from foster care, including eligibility, benefits, taxes, and more. The workshop is designed for both prospective parents seeking to learn more about the support available for the children they adopt and parents who are seeking an adjustment due to a change in their child’s need or circumstances.

Register Here



Deborah Presents at the North American Council on Adoptable Children – 38th Annual Conference

Deborah will be presenting a panel discussion at the this month’s annual conference of the North American Council on Adoptable Children, or “NACAC,” the nation’s largest and most influential adoption advocacy organization.  The conference brings together adoptive and foster parents, child welfare professionals, adoptees, foster care alumni, kinship caregivers, and other child advocates from across North America, and offers special activities for kids and teens.

This year’s annual NACAC conference will be held in Crystal City, Virginia (just outside Washington, D.C.) on July 25 to 28, 2012. 


Deborah’s presentation will feature Judge Amy Pellman of the Los Angeles Juvenile Court.

Friday, July 27th at 10:30 AM.

To Grandmother’s House We Go: How Will the Judge Decide in Kin v. Foster Parent Cases
It’s a familiar story. A relative comes forward asking to keep a child in the family. A foster child’s adoption is delayed or derailed while social workers and lawyers consider what is best for the child. In a session led by judges and lawyers who grapple with kin v. foster parent cases in court, learn about laws granting varying degrees of preference to relatives and current caregivers, and explore current trends in law and policy. Deborah Dentler, attorney-at-law, California • Amy Pellman, Los Angeles Superior Court, California

For more about the annual conference click here.

For more about NACAC, visit the website here.

To obtain a copy of the presentation materials, contact Deborah’s office.