House Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday pushed back against criticisms of the provision repealing the adoption tax credit in the Republican bill to overhaul the tax code, saying the bill overall would benefit families.

"It is a tax credit that goes to higher income individuals. Middle and low income people don't get it today," the Wisconsin Republican said at an event on the tax bill held by the Washington Examiner.

The bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, is currently being marked up in House committees. Anti-abortion groups have specifically called for restoration of the adoption tax credit and conservatives also are calling for it to be dropped from subsequent versions. Repealing the credit is expected to save the government $13,570 per adopted child.

Ryan argued other parts of the bill would result in better savings for families and overall it would result in $600 returned to families per child each year.

"The general philosophy of this is: Instead of giving you a tax break for one thing you do at one time, we want to give you a tax break for anything you do for all time, meaning lower your taxes always, you do what you want with your money," he said. "Instead of saying, 'We'll give you a one-time break if you do something we approve of,' let's just give you your money back in the first place."

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, who has adopted two children, has also pushed back against restoring the adoption tax credit, saying few people have been able to use it and it goes to wealthier people who itemize their deductions.