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Employee Benefits Programs

Roughly a quarter of the nation's employers offer some form of adoption benefits to their employees, according to a 1995 study. Benefits, typically available only to the company's "regular" employees, may include:

  • direct reimbursement in the range of $2,000 to $10,000 upon actual placement (usually a flat amount designated for specific adoption expenses)
  • paid leave, in addition to or including vacation time, sick leave, or personal days
  • unpaid leave (personal, hardship, medical, or child care) (may range from 3 to 12 months)
  • medical expenses of the birth mother
  • adoption seminars and information classes, as well as counseling and support before and after placement
  • If you are a government employee, it's possible that additional adoption benefits may be available.

    Even if your employer doesn't currently offer adoption benefits, ask about their availability. You may be able to persuade your company to begin offering them. Work with other employees interested in adoption, gather information for the employer, and present your case. Also, find out if your employer offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). This benefit was designed to help employees deal with dramatic personal situations or problems. Talking with an EAP counselor could help reduce the stress and anxiety that is so often a part of the adoption process.

    (For more information about employer benefits, including materials to help you request that your employer establish a program, call the National Adoption Center at 1-800-TO-ADOPT.)


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