Tax credits help offset the high cost of adoption

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.

Photo: Christi and John Rooke, of Pittsburgh, built their family through adoption. Pictured (left to right) are Carria, 10; Aiesha, 14; Jeremiah, 4; Christi, 35; John, 34; Darian, 3; Brea, 21; and Akeelah, 8. Shaine, 26, (not pictured) and Brea joined the family years ago, and the Rookes are in the process of formally adopting them. (Courtesy of Pete Rooke)

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