More companies offer adoption aid – Adoption Assistance

More companies offer adoption aid – Adoption Assistance – Brief Article

AstraZeneca reimburses adoptive parents $5,000 per child; when one employee adopted four siblings she received $20,000 in aid.

That company also allows the primary caregiver seven paid weeks off, and up to a year of unpaid leave. More companies are recognizing that families are created in a number of different ways, says this article; nearly 70% of Fortune 500 companies now offer some adoption benefits, as do 85% of Working Mother’s “100 Best.” The cost of adopting ranges from $2,000 to $30,000; the average is $15,000. Typically, firms offer to reimburse between $3,000 and $6,000 of adoption-related fees for lawyers, doctors, travel and agencies, and grant up to four paid weeks off. Some go farther. Merrill Lynch pays $5,000 for a regular adoption and $8,000 for a hard-to-place child, one who is disabled, older or wants to stay with siblings. The primary caregiver may take 13 weeks of paid leave and another 13 unpaid. Says Bernadette Fusaro, “It’s one of our more inexpensive benefits” (68 used it last year). MBNA reimburses adoptive parents up to $20,000 per adoption and offers 12 weeks of paid leave. In addition, they set up a trus t fund for each adopted child that can be used for college. Says adoption expert Mady Prowler, “A family goes through a tremendous amount of stress when they adopt. The risk of not helping is overstressed employees.”

# 17513 WORK/LIFE TODAY, 3-03

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