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Qualified Adoption Expenses - Form 8839

Form 8839 is used to claim the adoption credit and an exclusion of any employer-provided adoption benefits. Both credit and exclusion apply to the expenses of adopting an eligible child.

The maximum for both the credit and exclusion is $13,360. Potentially you could claim a credit of $13,360 and an exclusion of $13,360 for the same adoption, but not the same expenses.

Slightly different rules apply for adopting a U.S. child, a foreign child, and a child with special needs. Refer to the Instructions for Form 8839 for more details.

An eligible child includes any child under age 18 or any disabled person unable to take care of himself or herself.

Qualified adoption expenses include adoption fees, attorney fees, court costs, travel expenses including meals and lodging, and re-adoption expenses for a foreign child. But adoption expenses do not include expenses for which you were reimbursed by an employer or other person or organization.

Both the credit and exclusion are phased out for taxpayers with modified adjusted gross incomes between $185,211 and $225,209. Below the threshold they are unaffected, but above it they are eliminated entirely.