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I don't think you'll be able to claim the tax credit next year if you're not placed with a child next year. It was to do with placement/finalization- not when you pay the fees.
The adoption credit is for the year the adoption is finalized, so if you don't get a placement you can't claim it for that year.
Lurker here, my DH and are are beginning the process for DIA. I've lurked on this board for a while, and it has been very helpful! We just completed our adoption classes, which included information about the adoption tax credit. In this class, they told us that for US adoptions, the adoption tax credit could be claimed before finalization and could also be claimed in cases of failed adoption. In these cases, the only stipulation is that one must wait a year after the adoption expenses were paid before claiming the credit. That info seems to be confirmed with info provided by savetheadoptiontaxcredit.org:
"When can I claim the credit?
For U.S. private adoptions with qualified adoption expenses, you can claim the credit before finalization (or for a failed adoption) but you must wait one year after you incur the expenses. So, if you had expenses for an adoption in 2011 that has not or will not finalize, you must claim them with your 2012 taxes filed in early 2013.
But it sounds like from others' experiences (and accountants) that it is based on finalization? Sorry for the confusion on my part! Has anyone sucessfully claimed the credit before finalization?
You can claim it the year after you incurred the expenses if you have not yet finalized. I have a friend who has been waiting over two years and also paid a lot of up front fees, and they received their refund. We also claimed ours in the year after we paid the expenses, which was not the year we finalized.