Infertility Advocacy Issues:
We will be on Capitol Hill on May 11, 2016 talking about the scope of infertility in this country and the physical, emotional, and financial impact of this disease. We will be asking Congress to support legislation to allow Veterans and others in the military to obtain infertility and family building resources; to support bills to will improve the Adoption Tax Credit so that more people can afford to build their family through adoption; and to work with us to advance the goals of the National Action Plan on Infertility.
We are asking Senators and Representatives to co-sponsor S469/HR 3365, a bill that will dramatically improve the care our wounded service members and veterans receive for infertility. Currently the Veterans Administration is banned from offering IVF treatments to Veterans. The bills will allow Veterans to obtain IVF, adoption assistance, and other family-building benefits, and will also improve the fertility care available to active duty and wounded service members.
This is a new development: an amendment was added to the Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (“Mil-Con”) appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2017 that would provide funding for the VA to offer IVF to wounded Veterans. The Senate Appropriations Committee recently voted 23-7 with bipartisan support to pass this Amendment.
We are asking Senators to vote for the amendment when the Mil-Con bill comes to the full Senate for a vote. We are also asking House members to tell the House leadership to ensure this Amendment remains in the final Mil-Con appropriations as it is very important to our Veterans.
This is a new bill introduced recently by the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chair, Jeff Miller. It permits qualifying veterans with injuries to their reproductive organs to receive extra compensation of up to $20,000, which they may use at their discretion. Given the lack of benefits currently provided by the VA for family building, a Veteran could use the additional disability payment for IVF medical treatment or for adoption services.
The Adoption Tax Credit (ATC) was made permanent in 2013, but was not made refundable as it had been in prior years (2010 & 2011). Refundability is important because it allows those who have lower financial resources to get the benefit of the credit so they can afford to adopt a child in need. This bill restores refundability so that the families who need the credit the most will receive it. We also ask that the ATC be preserved if Congress takes on tax reform.
RESOLVE is part of the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group - comprised of more than 150 organizations across the nation - and we are a resource to Members of Congress as they work to strengthen the Adoption Tax Credit.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a National Action Plan ("The Plan") in 2014 declaring that infertility is a public health issue. "The Plan" explains infertility and identifies key steps to address it, which will ultimately help Americans build families. We are asking each Congressional office if they will partner with us on ways to advance the family-friendly goals our government has set forth in "The Plan."