You might not realize it, but your employer might be able to help make your adoption a reality! More and more companies are starting to offer adoption benefits to their employees. Keep reading to discover how your employer might be able to help you fund your adoption!
Job benefits such as health insurance, paid time off, 401K plans, or even a discounted gym membership are just a few of the perks that employees may get to take advantage of in their professional career. Every employer is different when it comes to what they offer their employees. If you're pursuing adoption, some companies may offer employee benefits to assist you on your adoption journey! You can learn the specifics of your company's adoption benefits program by contacting the Human Resources or Employee Personnel Department.
Each year, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption releases its "100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces" list to recognize organizations with the best adoption benefit programs. Find out if your employer made the list by visiting DaveThomasFoundation.org.
Rita Soronen, President and CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, says, "It is vital for adoptive parents to spend time with their children to bond and develop trust. Employers who offer adoption benefits understand that the initial needs of adoptive families are no different than families formed biologically. And family-friendly work environments create strong and loyal workforces. We are pleased and excited to see that companies, both large and small, continue to be committed to the importance of family bonding time when a child enters a home through adoption.”
Employee Adoption Benefits typically fall into one of these three categories:
Employer financial assistance for adoption typically ranges from $1,000 to $15,000. Some companies will pay certain adoption fees, and others may partially reimburse the employee for their adoption expenses. These expenses may include items like legal fees, court costs, fees paid to an adoption professional, and adoption travel costs. Usually, the employer pays these benefits after the adoption is finalized. Some may pay benefits when the child is placed or as adoption expenses are incurred. So, make sure to contact your employer as every adoption benefits policy is different. You might also try using work perks to ease the cost of adoption. For example, you could use discounts on hotels, restaurants, and plane tickets to help defray adoption travel costs.
Some employers will support adoption by educating potential adoptive parents, offering support and networks to employees who adopt, and incorporating adoption into services provided by their employee assistance program. Others support the cause of adoption by including adoption-related nonprofits in their payroll deduction program or participating in cause-related marketing programs.
Educational adoption benefits may include referrals to licensed adoption professionals, support groups, and other related organizations. Employers may also connect you with an adoption specialist to answer your questions about the process.
Federal law requires employers with 50 or more employees to offer both parents up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave upon the adoption of a child. The law also requires that employees keep their health benefits and job security during their leave. To get more information about the Family and Medical Leave Act, visit the U.S. Department of Labor website. Some employers who very supportive of adoption will provide extended and/or paid leave.
If your company doesn't offer adoption benefits, check out AdoptionFriendlyWorkplace.org for information on how to encourage your employer to offer adoption benefits. They offer a free kit with tips to help you to propose the implementation of adoption benefits, and companies to establish a policy in the workplace.