An adoption benefits plan is a company-sponsored program that financially assists or reimburses employees for expenses related to the adoption of a child and/or provides for paid or unpaid leave for the adoptive parent employee. Financial assistance can be $2,000 or more, and may be offered as reimbursement for specific costs or as a set amount of money, regardless of actual expenses. Adoption leave may be paid or unpaid and provides the time following the adoption for the parent to help the child bond and feel comfortable. Some companies offer a combination of financial help and leave time.
Companies often offer adoption-related benefits, but not as part of a separate adoption benefits plan. They may be offered under general employment leave or maternity/paternity benefits.
As part of their adoption benefits packages, a growing number of companies are contracting with human resources consulting firms to provide their employees with adoption information, support, and referrals to licensed adoption agencies and organizations. An adoption specialist may be available by telephone to answer questions about the adoption process, types of adoption, locating and selecting an agency, and managing special situations, such as stepparent or legal-risk adoptions. Groups that provide these services include The Partnership Group in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, Work/Family Directions, Inc., in Boston, Massachusetts, Working Solutions, Inc. in Portland, Oregon, and the Dependent Care Connection in Westport, Connecticut.
For more information, or to find out what benefits your employer provides, visit AdoptionBenefits.com.