America’s 100 best adoption-friendly workplaces recognized by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption

Posted on September 10, 2013

For Immediate Release


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Twenty years ago, Dave Thomas, an adoptee and the founder of Wendy’s Restaurants, established the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption with the vision of a safe and loving home for every child. Today, his vision is celebrated with the release of the sixth annual 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces List recognizing organizations nationwide for their adoption benefits.

The Wendy’s Company is No. 1 on the Foundation’s list, with a combination of up to $25,300 in adoption assistance and up to six weeks of paid adoption leave. (Editor’s note: The Foundation is not an affiliate of The Wendy’s Company.)

“Our founder Dave Thomas was adopted from foster care as a child and felt a strong personal tie to children still waiting in the system. Under Dave’s direction, Wendy’s became a model for other companies to follow by offering adoption benefits in 1990,” said Emil Brolick, president and CEO of The Wendy’s Company. “We are honored to earn the distinction of Best Adoption-Friendly Workplace in America – all because of Dave’s passion and commitment to making the process easier and more affordable for families.”

Wendy’s employee Brenda Overturf has used the adoption benefit twice. Overturf and her husband adopted two children from the U.S. foster care system nine years ago, when the siblings were 9 and 10 years old, and in 2011, they adopted three more siblings from foster care.

“Our children always wanted more brothers and sisters, and my husband and I were moved to help older children who might age out of foster care and be left on their own,” Overturf said. “Adopting from foster care is affordable, so we did not use Wendy’s financial benefit, but the six weeks of paid leave was invaluable. We needed the time to get to know our kids as individuals, and to prepare them for school.”

Rankings for the Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces List are determined by an analysis of a company’s adoption benefits that are made available to employees who adopt, such as financial reimbursement and paid leave. The Foundation compiles the results from its annual survey of U.S. employers, and partners with Employee Benefit News, a SourceMedia publication that is the leading source of information for benefits decision makers, to announce the winners. To view the full list, visit

The average financial reimbursement for all Foundation survey participants is $6,780 and the average paid leave offering is four weeks. Nearly half of the participants also offer unpaid leave beyond what is required by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), ranging from one week to three years.

“The formation of a family comes with both joys and challenges,” said Rita Soronen, president and CEO of the Foundation. “It is critical for parent and child to have the opportunity to adjust when a child joins his or her adoptive home. We’d like to say thank you to the employers who provide family-friendly work environments and offer benefits to make adoption more affordable for families who open their hearts and homes to a child.”

Adoption benefits are one of the easiest benefit policies a company can offer and are becoming more popular. In Aon Hewitt’s annual survey of 1,000 major U.S. employers, only 12 percent offered a financial adoption benefit in 1990. This year, 56 percent of employers reported offering a financial adoption benefit.

There are more than 100,000 children in the U.S. foster care system waiting to be adopted. Every year, nearly 30,000 children in foster care turn 18 and leave the system without families to call their own. The release of the Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces List helps the Foundation increase awareness of adoption from foster care while celebrating those businesses that support adoptive families.

If your organization does not offer adoption benefits, order the Foundation’s free kit that makes it easy to propose and establish an adoption benefits policy in your workplace at

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About the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption: The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is a national nonprofit public charity dedicated to dramatically increasing the adoptions of the more than 134,000 children waiting in North America’s foster care systems. Created by Wendy’s® founder Dave Thomas who was adopted, the Foundation implements evidence-based, results-driven national signature programs, foster care adoption awareness initiatives and research-based advocacy efforts. To learn more, visit, or call 1-800-ASK-DTFA.

Media contacts:
Staci Perkins
Senior Director, Marketing & Communications
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
Phone: 614-764-8406

Amanda Wurst
Account Supervisor
Paul Werth Associates
Phone: 614-224-8114

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