The Adoption Tax Credit was included in the last-minute legislation passed to prevent the "fiscal cliff" but it falls short of what many had hoped for.
The tax credit was initially conceived to help support foster care adoptions. Many families who adopt from foster care are relatives, foster parents or families of modest financial means - and the tax credit will not help these families since the version that passed is not refundable for those whose tax liabilities are lower than the credit.
Thus the tax credit may end up being unavailable for those families who need it the most - modest income families who adopt special needs children from foster care.
For more about the tax credit: