According to the 2022 U.S. Adoption and Foster Care Attitudes Survey, conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, 64% of American adults surveyed say that their employer’s assistance with adoption expenses impacts their decision to adopt. And 68% say paid leave for adoptive parents impacts their decision to expand their family through adoption.
While adoption benefits are a relatively small investment for most organizations, they can have a life-changing impact for families and children waiting for a permanent home.
Explore 3 reasons why a growing number of organizations offer benefits to employees who foster and adopt:
1. Ensure equity for all working parents
Our founder, Dave Thomas, started an initiative advocating for adoption benefits in the workplace more than 25 years ago. For him, it was simply a matter of equity — if an employer provides benefits for families because of the birth of a child, why wouldn’t they also acknowledge adoption? He began reaching out to other CEOs and suggested they offer adoption benefits because, as he shared with everyone, “It’s the right thing to do.”
Many organizations provide paid leave for biological parents after the birth of a child. However, that benefit is often not available for working parents who choose to grow their families through adoption.
Regardless of whether an employee gives birth to a child, becomes a foster parent, or adopts a child (from infants to teenagers), paid time off is critically important for them to bond and support that child’s transition into a new family.
2. Help make adoption more affordable
While the cost to adopt from foster care is typically minimal and often free, private infant or international adoption can be $20,000 to $50,000, or more. That investment is a significant barrier for many families.
Providing benefits — including financial reimbursement for adoption-related expenses, such as application and agency fees, home study costs and attorney fees — can make all the difference in helping more families provide a permanent, loving home for children in need.
3. Attract and retain talent
As an increasing number of workers seek more flexibility and support in their jobs, providing adoption benefits can help organizations gain a competitive edge in recruiting new talent. It can also strengthen employee loyalty and productivity.
“For more than 178 years, New York Life’s commitment to be there for families when we’re needed extends to our workforce, including those who turn to adoption to achieve their dream of having a family,” said Joanne Rodgers, Senior Vice President and Head of Human Resources, New York Life, which was recognized by the Foundation as a 2022 Adoption Advocate as part of the Best Adoption-Friendly Workplace survey. “Our Adoption Assistance Program illustrates that helping others is more than our business, it’s part of our culture and supports the work life integration and financial assistance our workforce requires when welcoming an adopted child into their lives.”
Visit davethomasfoundation.org/afw to learn more and access resources to support the journey to becoming an adoption-friendly workplace.