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Adoption Friendly Workplaces

Adoption Process

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  Written by Janice Sisneski on 01 Jan 2006

It's difficult enough to get some employers to agree to vacation time, let alone any additional time that you might need to be away from the office.  When you're trying to go through the adoptive process, you may feel like you constantly have to butt heads with your employer in order to get the time you need with the adoptive agencies and other meetings that are required.  But there are ways that you can talk to your employer in order to create a healthy compromise for both of you.  


You should start campaigning for employee adoption benefits as soon as you begin the process.  As many adoptions will require a bit of patience and waiting, you can spend this time working toward getting adoption benefits that you will need in the future and possibly help other fellow employees in the process.  A good way to start this conversation with your employer is to participate in a discussion about family benefits at the company.  By talking about whether maternity leaves are reasonable, if paternity leaves are given, and whether or not employees can take sick time to attend to sick children, this naturally opens up the topic of how your employer can help parents that are adopting children.  With these opinions and ideas in mind, you can then turn to your human resources department to see how they can help you talk to the right people about making the necessary change to this system.  

By showing your employer the similarities between adoptive time away and maternity and paternity time away, you will help to allow all kinds of parents to have the same benefits and time to care for their new children.  

What you might want to do first is write a letter to the human resources department as well as another other people that are involved in decision making about employee benefits and time away.  You can even use your email account at work to start seeing who is also interested in making changes to your current system you may be surprised to find out just who else has been thinking along the same lines as you.  

Here are some things that you may want to include in your proposal or letter to those that are in control of your employee benefits:  

  • Speak to the idea of creating equality in the workplace Just as biological mothers are granted time to be with their children once they are born, so should adoptive parents that are going to get their new children.  Most maternity leaves are about 11 weeks long, so the adoption benefits should be in the same vicinity.  
  • Talk about what other employers are offering for benefits By taking the time to show that other employers are remaining competitive by offering benefits like adoptive benefits, you may be able to sway your employer into doing the same.  And more people will want to work at your company as a result.    
  • Note that adoptive benefits aren't generally used Because there are fewer adoptions than natural births, you can acknowledge the idea that your employer may not have to pay out' on these kinds of benefits often.  
  • Increasing employee satisfaction Those employees that work for companies that are progressive in their response to employee needs are typically happier and more satisfied with their jobs.  Even those employees that do not plan on adopting find this kind of adoptive policy to be a good one.  
  • The idea that adoption promotes community goodwill When children are adopted, communities are built and fostered.  Instead of hindering that process, employers that allow for adoptive benefits will be making a difference in the world one child at a time.  

While not every employer will find a way to help parents that are adopting, the truth is that if they want to remain competitive in the job market, they need to think about every possible employee situation and how they can create the idea that family is the most important thing in life.

Resource: Adoption Friendly Work Place Kit

 




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