Editor’s note: This is a transcript of the audio file.

Families are formed in many ways. One of the most expensive methods is through adoption.

If you’re trying to adopt, do everything you can to wrap it up in 2012. The future of the adoption tax credit as we know it is uncertain. I’m Janet Stauble with your Bankrate.com Personal Finance Minute.

The 2012 adoption tax credit is about $700 less than the credit amount available the previous year. Perhaps more painful is the current adoption tax credit is no longer refundable. That means it can help zero out your tax bill, but you won’t get any excess credit back as a tax refund.

Unless Congress acts, on Jan. 1, 2013, there will be no adoption tax credit for special needs children adopted within the U.S.

Costs for adoption can quickly climb into the mid-five figures, so the adoption tax credit could make a difference in adoptive parents’ financial planning.

It’s unlikely that the tax credit will completely go away, but will it be as generous as it was in 2010, 2011 or even 2012? Probably not.

Want to learn more? Log onto Bankrate.com. I’m Janet Stauble.