Better Adoption Benefits = More Adoptions?

This week, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption released its 2011 list of the 100 Most Adoption Friendly Workplaces. This annual ranking profiles organizations in the United States and Canada who offer employees significant benefits if they adopt a child. These benefits include paid time off and financial support to the adoptive parent or parents. Some of the organizations listed are large, Fortune 500 companies like Wendy’s, Hanes, and the Vanguard Group, while others are smaller companies with industries spanning healthcare, insurance, and manufacturing.  The Dave Thomas Foundation website also includes a free toolkit for parents looking for information on adoption friendly workplaces for both employees and employers.

But, does offering employees benefits that specifically support would-be adoptive parents really increase the number of adoptions that occur? The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (BMC) certainly hopes so. This week, BMC, the civic body that governs the city of Mumbia, India, raised the amount of paid leave for adoptive parents (women specifically) from 90 days to up to 180 days, with the possibility of extending the benefit for up to one year. The proposal only applies to two children, however the BMC cites a trend indicating that expanded adoption leave benefits encourages more female employees to adopt children. While it is unclear as to how any benefits are extended to men adopting children, the precedent set by BMC is certainly one that should be studied by child welfare and adoption researchers.

If your workplace offers benefits unique to adoptive parents, we’d love to hear about it! Leave your comments below.

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