What Are Employer Adoption Benefits and Why Should I Care?

Employer adoption benefits are wonderful tools for hopeful adoptive and foster parents to use.

Jennifer Mellon July 16, 2018
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The strong job market and economy mean that the competition for talent is more fierce than ever. As the founder of the technology company, Trustify, I continually try to ensure that my team members have the best benefits for a company of our size and stage. Our values and the social mission of our company is critical to our success and hiring the best talent in our industry. We recognize that in order to attract and retain the best people for our teams, we have to offer benefits that they want and also benefits that showcase the values of our company. Adoption and foster care benefits were a simple addition to our benefits package that has made a difference in the talent we attract and acquire.

Trustify is not alone. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption publishes an annual report on adoption friendly workplaces. Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption recognizes that adoption benefits have become a standard for maintaining a competitive edge in recruiting the best talent. According to a study, 1,000 DTFA references, only 12% offered adoption benefits in 1990. That number rose to 56% in 2015 and is believed to be only growing.

So what are examples of adoption benefits?

Paid Leave for Adoption or Foster Care

Paid leave for the adoption of a child or a foster care placement is a wonderful employee benefit to add to your benefits package. This leave can be for companies who do not qualify for standard leave given to all employees under the Family and Medical Leave Act. This would include most companies with less than 50 employees. For larger corporations, this paid leave is in addition to the six weeks given under the FMLA. Some companies will also offer extended leave options for adoption or foster care that are unpaid in addition to paid leave.

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance for the adoption or foster care placement can be incredibly beneficial for families going through the process. The cost of adoption is steep, and employer benefits which include financial assistance can be incredibly helpful for the family and also encourage families who may not have thought they could afford adoption. Financial assistance can also go to support the foster care process, home study expenses, and other fees which can become costly.

Employer adoption benefits are a way for prospective adoptive and foster care parents to gain support in terms of leave, financial assistance, and sometimes even childcare on site to make the adoption or foster care placement possible. As employers continue to compete for the best and the brightest talent in their industry, adding adoption and foster care benefits is critical to any benefits package.

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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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