By Jackie Spinner | Special to PublicSource | April 19, 2015
In 2011, the year Christi and John Rooke adopted two of their five children, the Pittsburgh couple filed for an adoption tax credit — $13,000 for each daughter who joined their family.
The couple used the $26,000 combined credit to pay off their debt, and to buy a 12-seat passenger van and a pop-up camper to take their family on cross-country adventures.
Though it may sound like a windfall, Christi Rooke said the family is strapped much of the time. She and her husband work flexible jobs so someone is always home with the children, who have an array of needs resulting from foster care and the circumstances that got them there, she said. All five of the children, ages 3 to 14, were adopted through Pennsylvania’s child welfare system.
2014 was the year heroin became an epidemic. In Pennsylvania, emergency rooms, courtrooms and jails were filled with heroin addicts. Hundreds of community members showed up at town hall meetings and parents who lost children to overdoses started support groups. Pennsylvania joined dozens of states in approving the use of an antidote - naloxone - for overdoses.
Couldn't make it to our March 24th panel discussion on the heroin epidemic in PA? See what you missed:
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