Adoption assistance benefits offer support to employees looking to grow their families by adopting a child. These benefits can provide financial assistance or reimbursements, paid or unpaid leave, and services and resources that help employees through the adoption process.
What are adoption assistance benefits?
There’s no wrong way to build a family.
60% of Americans have some experience with adoption, either personally or through a close friend or family member. About 1–2 million couples are waiting to adopt a child, while over 400,000 children are waiting to be adopted. A lot of children are in need of a family — and many people would like to help, but most aren’t in a financial position to do so.
That’s because adoption isn’t cheap. Although costs and circumstances can vary, the average adoption costs $70,000.
Plus, the adoption process doesn’t end after those costs have been paid. Just like when employees go on paternal leave after having a baby the old fashioned way, they’ll need to take some time off to bond with their new child.
Some older adopted children (and parents) may also need some extra support even after the adoption. A new house, new environment, and a whole new family — it can be a lot to process!
With employer-sponsored adoption assistance benefits, employees are supported through every step of the adoption process: from financial reimbursements for expenses leading up to the adoption date; to paid and unpaid leave to build important familial bonds and trust during those precious first months; as well as counseling services, support groups, and other vital resources to ensure a seamless transition. Welcome to the family!
How do employees use adoption benefits?
Let’s say your Communications Director is thinking seriously about family planning. Her best friend was adopted, and she’s always admired this path to family building. She promised herself that when the time was right, she’d also pursue an adoption.
Now she’s at that point in her life — ready for parenthood, both emotionally and financially. But after meeting with an adoption counselor, she learns just how pricey the adoption process can be.
Through adoption benefits, her employer contributed a portion of the funds needed to complete the process, and she is now a new mother to a 7-year-old boy.
As exciting and fulfilling as adoption can be, it can be a lot for a kid to process. Thankfully, she was able to take a couple months of paid leave to bond with her son. She also used her benefits to see a therapist who specializes in adoption services, to be sure that she’s doing all the right things to make this an easy transition for the whole family.
How do adoption assistance benefits impact employees?
If you’re ready to become a parent, adoption is a fantastic option. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
As exciting and fulfilling as becoming a parent can be, without support the adoption process can be expensive, confusing, and exhausting. Adoption assistance benefits make this process a little more manageable.
When a new baby comes home for the first time, the family needs time: time to adjust, time to feed and sleep, time to grow into a family. Adopted families are no different. Paid adoption leave can help provide that necessary time for parents to grow into their roles, and for children to build trust.
All these changes can get stressful at times. There’s a lot to process — and it can be scary, especially for children in international adoptions, older children, or adoptions that cross background or ethnicities. In these cases, adoption benefits can provide counseling services or support groups for families.
60% of people say that employer-offered benefits play a big part in their decision-making process when considering adoption. Extending adoption benefits for your employees can help make a life-changing decision easier, or possible in the first place, and have a massive impact on their family for generations to come.
Why should employers offer adoption assistance benefits?
A whopping 25% of Americans are considering adoption, yet research indicates that less than 1% of employees ever actually use their adoption benefits. Still, 40% of employees have requested adoption benefits from their employers. This makes it a low-cost, high-impact benefit.
Helping your employees grow their family can show them that they’re part of your community, and that you have a vested interest in their well being and growth — not just as an employee, but as a human being.
This all has a significant impact on productivity, retention, and recruiting. Whether an employee ever plans on using their adoption benefits or not, just by having them, employers are showing their people, and potential employees, that they’re family.
What are the best adoption assistance benefits providers?
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