Workplace Adoption Benefits Help Families, Communities

By Nadia Ramlagan
Ohio News Connection

More employers are offering benefits to adoptive parents, according to a new survey by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. The amount of paid leave offered to foster parents is now nearly 10 weeks, up 3% from last year.

Jeremy Madden, a resident of Liberty Township, Ohio, and his wife relied on workplace adoption benefits through his employer, Fifth Third Bank, to adopt their baby daughter. He said the process was easy and the financial reimbursement was a game changer, as adoption can cost thousands of dollars. Now they’ve settled into life as a family.

“She’s fantastic. We wouldn’t change anything,” he said. “She’s brought so much joy and happiness into our life. She’s developing her own personality. She is super smart.”

Companies that offer new adoption benefits include Harley-Davidson Motor Co. Inc. and Ziff Davis Inc. Highly ranked companies include Ferring Pharmaceuticals and Liberty Media Corp., American Express and MongoDB Inc. Ferring Pharmaceuticals topped the list for providing unlimited financial reimbursement for adoption costs and 26 weeks of paid leave to adoptive parents.

Rita Soronen, the foundation’s CEO, cited a 10% increase on average in financial reimbursement for adoption.

“It tells the employees that we’re a family-friendly organization, that there’s equity if we’re offering benefits for families that are formed through birth, she said. “We also want to give benefits to families that are formed through adoption, and it creates a sense of loyalty and retention and goodwill.”

She said it’s important for employers to consider foster and adoption benefits, not only for their employees but also for the good of the community.

“It says to the community that we understand that there are lots of ways that our families are formed, and we can provide the kind of supports that a family might need to move to that next phase of being a unified and thriving family,” Soronen said.

According to the National Council for Adoption, 2022 saw the fewest number of adoptions from foster care since 2015, around 53,000 children nationwide.

Pictured at top: Jeremy Madden, his wife and their adopted daughter. (Jeremy Madden)

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.