IRS Logo
Print - Click this link to Print this page

Adoption Credit Documentation Requirements

All taxpayers claiming the adoption credit must fill out and attach to their return, Form 8839, qualified Adoption Expenses.

This chart below contains a list of acceptable documents that need to be attached to tax returns claiming Adoption Credit. Please use this chart or refer to the Instructions for Form 8839 for a list of acceptable documents.

For more information and helpful links, visit the Don’t Delay Your Adoption Credit Refund web page. 

List of documents that need to be attached to your TY2011 return if you are claiming Adoption Credit

 If

 And

 Then attach a copy of

Domestic Adoption

(Note: If the eligible child is a U.S. child, the adoption is a domestic adoption. A U.S. child is an eligible child who was a citizen or resident of the U.S. (including U.S. possessions) at the time the adoption effort began).

In-Process

One or more of the following documents:

  • A home study completed by an authorized placement agency
  • A placement agreement with an authorized placement agency
  • A document signed by a hospital official authorizing the release of a newborn child from the hospital to you for legal adoption
  • A court document ordering or approving the placement of a child with you for legal adoption
  • An original affidavit or notarized statement signed upder penalties of perjury from an adoption attorney, government official or other authorized person, stating that the signer:
         a. Placed or is placing a child with you for legal adoption, or
         b. Is facilitating the adoption  process for you in an official
             capacity, with a description of the actions taken to facilitate the
             process.

NOTE: By its nature, either an in-process or an attempted/failed domestic adoption of a U.S. child is harder to prove than a final adoption. Notice 2010-66 contains a list of acceptable documentation, but the list is not intended to be exclusive. The adoption credit is allowable if the taxpayer can establish, by satisfactory evidence, that he or she paid qualified adoption expenses in connection with an in-process or an attempted/failed domestic adoption.

Domestic Adoption Final The adoption certificate, order, judgment or decree clearly establishing that the adoption is final. Showing the names of the adoptive child and parent (yourself) and signed and dated by a representative of a state or county court, showing the official seal.

Foreign Adoption

(Note: If the eligible child is a foreign child, the adoption is a foreign adoption. A foreign child is an eligible child who was not a citizen or resident of the U.S. (including U.S. possessions) at the time the adoption effort began.)

In-Process The adoption credit cannot be claimed.
Foreign Adoption (from a country governed by the Hague Convention) Final 

One or more of the following:
The Hague Adoption Certificate (Immigrating Child)

  • The IH-3 visa, or
  • a foreign adoption decree translated into English. 
Foreign Adoption (from a country that is not a party to the Hague Convention) Final

One or more of the following documents:

  • A foreign adoption decree translated into English; or
  • An IR-2 or IR-3 visa.
Domestic Adoption
(special needs child)
Final

The following documents:

  • An adoption certificate, report or final decree clearly restablishing that the adoption is final, showing the names of the adoptive child and parent (yourself) and signed and dated by a representative of the state court, and
  • A copy of the state's determiniation of special needs, which may include, but is not limited to the following:
         a. A signed adoption assistance  or subsidy agreement issued by
            the state. 
         b. Certification from the state or a county welfare agency verifying that
             the child is approved to receive adoption assistance.
         c. Certification from the state or a county welfare agency verifying that
            the child has special needs.


 

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 23-Jul-2014