Beginning in 2013, claiming a Child Tax Credit became a little simpler for married same-sex couples. Previously, it was difficult — if not impossible — for one partner to claim Child Tax Credit or Earned Income Credit on the other partner's child, even if they were both raising the child together. The non-biological or non-adoptive parent struggled to establish a legal connection to a child that wasn't his or her biological or adopted child.
For example, Maria works full-time and provides nearly all the support for her wife Linda's biological child, Corbin. Because Maria is unable to prove a legal tie to Corbin, she cannot claim him as a dependent. Likewise, she cannot claim a Child Tax Credit or Earned Income Tax Credit. Because she cannot claim these credits, her wife Linda needed to file federal income taxes to do so.
Now that the federal government recognizes same-sex marriage, it no longer hampers a married same-sex couple's ability to get these tax credits. They are able to file jointly, just as any other married couple [source: Bernard].