When you’re going through the process of adopting a child, the emotional aspect can be absolutely overwhelming: Add to that the financial aspect, and things start to get extra tricky—and even a little bit icky. When it comes to forming your family, the last thing you want to have to deal with is the financial end of things.
But, you have to get over the icky—and figure out a way to afford it. If you can’t do it on your own, perhaps your employer can help—even if it means making “only a dent” in the cost of adoption services. Every little bit really does help. A dent can make a HUGE difference.
Less than half of all U.S. employers offer adoption benefits. Although the word is getting out, we still have a long way to go. And some of the most adoption-friendly workplaces have earned that reputation because of employees who have lobbied hard for change—and have convinced their employers to add, or increase, their adoption benefits.
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption—North America’s only national nonprofit charity dedicated solely to finding permanent homes for children in foster care—recently ranked the Top 100 Adoption-Friendly Workplaces 2017. This annual report includes companies of every size. Here are the top three companies that made that cut in 2017—and some special facts that make some of these companies stand out from all the rest.
The Dave Thomas Foundation’s credo is as follows: “Our goal is to find a permanent, loving family for every child waiting in foster care. And just as every child deserves a home, we believe all parents deserve support and time to bond with their children. While this is a moment of celebration for these employers, it’s also a moment of awareness for our nation concerning children waiting to be adopted from foster care in the United States. Adoption-friendly policies are easy to implement and cost-effective, and create loyal and happy employees.”
Top 3 Adoption-Friendly Workplaces in 2017
The 2017 Top 100 Adoption-Friendly Workplaces Report is out, and these three companies are the final cut, scoring the highest points for being amazing adoption-friendly workplaces.
#1: American Express
This company offers 20 weeks of paid parental leave. U.S.-based employees are eligible for reimbursement of expenses up to $35,000. This is to help with the cost of an adoption or surrogacy event.
#2: Capital One Financial
Offers adoptive and foster parents up to 12 weeks of time off to care for and bond with their child. Eight weeks of parental leave, paid at 100%, can be broken up into two-week increments. Two of those eight weeks may be used prior to the expected adoption or placement in the home.
#3: Ferring Pharmaceuticals
Offers employees up to five weeks of paid leave and reimbursement of up to $25,000 in expenses related to adoption. Counseling and other parenting resources are also available.
To see the full list and details about all 100 workplaces that made the Dave Thomas cut, go to https://davethomasfoundation.org.
My Company’s Not on the List: What Now?
If your employer currently does not offer adoption benefits, consider bringing up the possibility to your company’s decision makers, movers, and shakers. Just because an employer doesn’t offer adoption benefits doesn’t mean they can’t or aren’t willing to, sometime in the future. Maybe they aren’t aware of the need among their employees or among the country (or society) as a whole.
So . . . ask.
Encourage your employer to become an adoption-friendly workplace.