If asked this question most would say “of course my place of business is adoption friendly as we support all families”. In reality, most businesses are not adoption friendly. When a woman has a child she is given up to 12 weeks off to bond with the new family member before heading back to work. When a family adopts, the 12 week rule does not apply and most families are forced to take all of their vacation time during the process and when the child comes home. In many out-of-state adoptions couples or individuals could spend up to two weeks in another city before coming home leaving little to no time to create a lasting bond with their new child.
In 1990 only 12 percent of the top 1,000 businesses in the U.S. offered any type of adoption assistance. In recent years this percentage has risen to more than 50 percent but there is still another 50 percent to go. While less than 1 percent of employees will utilize any adoption assistance from the employer it is a life changing benefit to offer for a very low cost.
No matter how families are formed, new parents need time to bond with their children. Employees who build families through adoption are likely to incur significant costs and participate in a lengthy, sometimes stressful process. Providing support for employees throughout the process bolsters productivity, goodwill and loyalty.
You may know Dave Thomas as the man who created the fast food chain Wendy’s. What you may not know is that he was also one of the largest supporters of adoption the world has even seen through the creation of the Dave Thomas Foundation. On his website there is a very simple application that a business can fill out to become an adoption friendly business. There are also tools for adoptive parents to request help with their adoptions from their employers.
Adoption friendly workplace resources (click here)
It does not take much time or investment to change families forever so we hope that you take a moment and become an adoption friendly workplace as nothing is more important in this world than family.
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