April, a Sr. Manager of Client Services Operations at Charles River Laboratories, tried to grow her family for several years. April’s brother was adopted from foster care and completing her family the same way felt like the right thing to do.
In 2016, April and her partner took the first steps toward their adoption journey. They met with an adoption agency that participated in both state-waiting programs and private adoption. Because the couple had two biological children, they were open to adopting an older child. As their paperwork was finalized, the couple was ready for the next step.
During this time, April started her journey to bring adoption benefits to her employer. She used the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s Adoption-Friendly Workplace toolkit to start the conversation with her employer’s Human Resources department. Over the course of nine months, April and her employer worked together to develop the adoption benefits policy.
In 2017, April received the call she was eagerly awaiting. A 7-month-old baby boy was in need of a home. Within 24 hours, April and her partner received temporary custody. Soon after, they officially adopted the baby boy and became a family of five.
April and her family were the first recipients of Charles River Laboratories’ adoption benefits. The organization’s program covered a portion of adoption fees and allowed April to take 12 paid weeks off to bond with her son.
“I would highly encourage any family that has the desire to pursue adoption,” said April. “If you don’t have a company benefit, start one! The path that you blaze might be what other people need to make adoption a reality.”
Congratulations, Charles River Laboratories, for being recognized as an 2023 Adoption Advocate! To start the adoption benefits conversation in your organization, download the Foundation’s free Adoption-Friendly Workplace toolkit.