Companies Implementing Adoption Benefits for Employees

Adoption benefits are beneficial for companies and employees alike.

Jennifer Mellon October 05, 2016
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As the founder and president of a technology company, I can tell you that a great deal of thought went into the formation of our policies. We believed in creating a culture where our employees could plant deep roots and grow with us as an organization throughout the various stages of their and their family’s life.  We knew great policies attract great candidates and believe in being a leader in the startup industry in the policies we implement. Doing a great deal of work with adoptive and birth families, we recognized early on the importance of implementing excellent adoption benefits within our company. Doing so was in line with the values we hold true at our company and it also is just good business. We are not alone at Trustify in implementing an adoption-friendly workplace.

Every year the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (DTFA) lists the Top Adoption Friendly Workplaces. The 2016 First Place company for the best benefits was Ferring Pharmaceuticals.  Their employees can receive financial assistance or reimbursement up to $25,000 to cover adoption costs. They also receive 5.5 weeks of paid adoption leave. Citizens Bank, Abbott, Hanes Brands Inc., and Barilla placed second through fifth respectively for their exceptional adoption benefits.

On average, the top 100 companies gave $8,000 in financial reimbursement, 5 weeks of paid parental leave,1 week to 3 years of unpaid leave beyond the Family and Medical Leave Act, and 1 to 18 weeks for foster care support.

Adoption benefits make sense for every company to implement, no matter how big or how small. They are cost effective, in that less than 1% of employees utilize these benefits. They help companies to attract the best talent on their teams by showcasing their values and support of families, no matter how a family is grown. Adoption benefits retain good employees by keeping them happy and feeling valued. It just makes good business sense.

However, less than half of companies in the United States offer adoption benefits to their employees. However, the numbers are rising. In Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s annual survey of 1,000 major United State’s employers, over half (52%) had instituted adoption benefits in 2013. This is up from only 12% in 1990.

This presidential election cycle has brought the issues of family leave and benefits to the forefront of the candidates’ policies discussions. More and more families are being formed through adoption. We need to be inclusive in our companies and our conversations as to the importance of incorporating adoption benefits into broader discussions and policies.  Companies who wish to be an adoption-friendly workplace can learn how best to implement these policies into their benefits packages through the free Adoption-Friendly Workplace Kit offered by DTFA.

If you’re ready to pursue a domestic infant adoption, click here to connect with an adoption professional who can help you get started on your adoption journey! 

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Jennifer Mellon

Jennifer Mellon has worked in the child welfare field for more than a decade, serving in varying capacities as the Executive Director and Chief Development Officer of Joint Council on International Children's Services (JCICS) and the Corporate Communications Program Manager for the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI). Jennifer has served on the Board of the Campagna Center, which provides critical educational services to children and families in the DC Metro Area and on the Development Committee for the National Council for Adoption. She is the mom of three children and resides in Alexandria, Virginia.


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