Adoption is a life-changing experience, but it comes with some financial burden and sometimes it comes with emotional burden. If you are considering adoption, you may be wondering about benefits you can receive from your employer. According to a survey in 2008, over half of the 940 employers surveyed said that they offer some type of adoption assistance. In his book, Adoption Nation, Adam Pertman says that companies find that providing adoption benefits shows some social responsibility and creates more satisfied workers. There are three common types of employer adoption benefits offered by most employers. The three most common types of employer adoption benefits include financial assistance, information resources, and parental leave.
- Financial assistance is the most common type of adoption benefit provided by employers. Financial assistance can come in different forms, such as a lump sum payment for adoption, payment of certain fees, and partial reimbursement to employees for expenses. Typically reimbursement plans can cover 80 percent of certain expenses related to the adoption up to an established amount. Every employer has different policies about reimbursement. Some may provide more for special situations such as the adoption of a special needs child. Be sure to check with your employer regarding financial assistance with your adoption.
- Parental leave is required by law for employers with 50 or more employees. This federal law requires that any employer with 50 or more employees must offer 12 weeks of unpaid leave to both mothers and fathers of new adopted children. This ensures that employees have job security and health benefits while on leave. Some employers may offer more than 12 weeks. Check with your employer to find out how much parental leave you can receive.
- Information resources such as support groups, access to an adoption specialist, and help with special situations are also available to employees. Not all of these resources will be made available by your employer, so it is important to check with your human resources department to find out what resources are available to you.
If you are considering adoption and need help, contact your employer to find out about any benefits you could receive.