HR Support on Adoption Assistance Benefits

Editor's Note: Adoption assistance programs can promote a family-friendly workplace.

Tracy MorleyOverview: Adoption assistance programs are becoming more prevalent as an employer-sponsored benefit. The number of employers offering such services as part of their employee benefit program continues to grow as adoption becomes more common in the US.

Adoption assistance benefits can be grouped into two general categories:

  • Financial assistance benefits are the monetary benefits offered by the employer. Some employers provide a lump sum payment while other employers reimburse specific adoption expenses such as adoption agency fees, court costs and legal fees. Employers can reimburse employees when the adoption is finalized, at the time of placement or as expenses are incurred.
  • Informational resources such as referrals to adoption agencies/support groups, access to an adoption specialist and information and guidance provided through an employee assistance program.

Adoption assistance benefits help employers to promote a family-friendly culture and show fairness and equity with other employees who have given birth to a child and have perhaps received paid maternity leave and/or health care coverage.

Author: Tracy Morley, SPHR, Legal Editor

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