When Scott Hagie and his family considered adopting their daughter, Charlotte, Unum’s adoption assistance benefit proved a valuable financial support. Today, this benefit helped the company debut as a Best Adoption-Friendly Workplace on the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption 2021 listing.
The Foundation recognizes organizations with the most robust adoption benefits and ranks employers by size, industry, paid leave, foster care benefits and impact. For almost two years, Unum has provided employees a one-time benefit of $25,000 to help offset expenses associated with adoption and six weeks of parental leave as they welcome a new family member.
“This benefit may move the needle for people considering adoption and make it a possibility,” said Scott Hagie, who used Unum’s adoption benefit in 2019 to welcome 2-year-old Charlotte into his family.
The average cost of adoption from foster care is $2,938. Private domestic and international adoptions average upwards of $43,000, according to Yahoo! Finance’s Adoption Trends in America: Uncovering Its Prevalence and Cost. These don’t include lost wages from work to bond with the child once adopted.
The Foundation partnered with RTI International, an independent, nonprofit research institute, to survey employers across the United States and score participants based on three criteria: financial reimbursement, paid leave and the percentage of employees eligible for those benefits.
“The financial implications of adoption can be cost prohibitive for families looking to expand,” said Liz Ahmed, Unum’s executive vice president of People and Communications. “Offering benefits to support employees seeking to adopt is another way we can help working parents thrive.”
Additional workplace benefits Unum offers employees include a working parent’s network, education plan contributions and pre-tax childcare savings, competitive paid time off, and a student debt relief program.