Employer adoption benefits are perks provided by an employer to ease the process of adoption. The benefits usually cover domestic adoption, international adoption, and foster care adoption. There are generally three types of benefits: financial assistance, information and referral services, and parental leave. An employer may offer any combination of benefits.
When an employer makes adoption benefits available, it tends to set a tone of unity. It shows that the company is family-oriented and supportive of its employers. Providing adoption benefits has been shown to maintain employee productivity, employee retention, and presents a good public image. According to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, less than 1 percent of employees use their adoption benefits within a given year. Yet, despite that number, the amount of employers offering adoption benefits is climbing every year.
In 1990, only 12 percent of employers had adoption benefits for their employees. By 2004, that number had jumped to 39%. In 2013 it was up to 52 percent. With approximately 135,000 kids being adopted each year in this country, those benefits are very much appreciated by those who use them.
For example, Walmart is now offering their employees up to $5,000 in reimbursement costs for adoption-related expenses. Both hourly and salaried employees are eligible for adoption benefits. Employees will get up to six weeks of paid, protected leave following an adoption or a foster care placement.
Every year, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption releases a top 100 list of the employers who provide the best adoption benefits for their employees. To find out what adoption benefits—if any—your company offers, please contact your human resources department. If they are not offering any, you should suggest how a change in policy could be beneficial to their company.
Ashley Foster is a freelance writer. She is a wife and mother of two currently residing in Florida. She loves taking trips to the beach with her husband and sons. As an infant, she was placed with a couple in a closed adoption. Ashley was raised with two sisters who were also adopted. In 2016, she was reunited with her biological family. She advocates for adoptees’ rights and DNA testing for those who are searching for family. Above all, she is thankful that she was given life. You can read her blog at http://ashleysfoster.blogspot.com/.