Adopting - Employer Benefits
Adoption benefits are being provided by an ever increasing number of employers.
In the early 1990's it is estimated that only 10%-15% of employers offered some kind of adoption benefit but by the mid 1990's this number had increased to almost 25%. The number of employer-sponsored adoption programs continues to grow.
In general the employer related child adoption benefits are similar to those offered to new biological parents. Adoption benefits commonly fall into three general categories:
1) Adoption parental leave programs: The Family and Medical Leave Act requires certain employers to offer mothers and fathers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave upon the birth or adoption of a child. Some employers allow employees to take more than 12 weeks of unpaid leave. In addition to the Federal law, many States require employers to offer parental leave to adoptive parents. To find out about your state of residence or other states, contact your state adoption specialist.
2) Adoption information: This includes referrals to licensed child adoption agencies and government sponsored programs, child adoption support groups and other adoption-related organizations. Employers typically offer this help through their human resources department or through an employee assistance contract.
3) Financial help: This financial help can take the form of a lump sum payment for an adoption, the payment of specific adoption-related fees, a partial reimbursement of fees paid, and the provision of free legal services. You will need to contact your employer Department of Human Relations, Personnel Office or Benefits Office for details on what your employer may cover.
For other types of assistance, please visit the link Government Agencies and Resources for Adoption. You may also find the child Welfare Information Gateway article Employer-Provided Adoption Benefits Factsheet helpful.