The Corner

Politics & Policy

Adopting Caricatures

Earlier this week, Republicans tried again on a tax plan, this time including the adoption tax credit. Many had raised their objections to their excluding it in the first place, including our own Ramesh Ponnuru and David French. Here’s Pennsylvania Congressman Mike Kelly. And Russell Moore from the Southern Baptist Convention. And Jim Daly from Focus on the Family. Charles Camosy from Fordham. And the list goes on. What’s so disappointing and infuriating about its initial exclusion is we do so very little, collectively, and in many/most of our cases, individually, to support and promote adoption in the first place. To do something so callous as drop the adoption tax credit is to, among other things, feed into the caricature that pro-lifers don’t care about much other than making sure women say “no” to abortion. It’s people not knowing about alternatives that keep us stuck in these same old debates, instead of joining together on common ground – keeping children out of foster care and helping families flourish.

A number of years ago, Helen Alvare from George Mason/Scalia and some friends (including now-“rock star” Ryan T. Anderson before he was a “rock star”) wrote about the “lazy slander” regularly waged against pro-lifers. What the Republicans did was feed that caricature. In many ways the adoption tax credit is the least we can do. So may we do that and look for more ways to support adoption and families and keeping children out of languishing in the foster-care system.

And at the National Review Institute we plan to be doing much more on this front. Please send me your stories and your charities and your insights at


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