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Cornell leads higher ed as adoption-friendly workplace

Cornell is the highest-ranking university in the 12th annual list of 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces, the Dave Thompson Foundation for Adoption announced Oct. 3.

The 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces list, sponsored by the foundation, recognizes organizations with the most robust adoption benefit programs, comparing financial reimbursement and paid leave for parents who adopt, based on surveys of organizations across the United States. In addition to providing adoption benefits, 53 companies on the list – including Cornell – were noted for providing benefits to employees who serve as foster parents.

“We are proud and grateful to be acknowledged for our intentional support of adoptive and foster parents,” said Mary Opperman, vice president and chief human resources officer. “We remain committed to understanding the needs of our faculty and staff and providing meaningful support services that make decisions, such as fostering and adoption, a little easier for our employees and their families.”

Cornell reimburses eligible employees for qualified adoption expenses up to $5,000 per adoption ($6,000 for a child with special needs) and a maximum of three adoptions per family. Since the inception of the program in 2005, Cornell has helped more than 65 families with adoption support.

The university provides paid family leave for eligible nonacademic staff members to bond with an adopted or foster child under the New York State Paid Family Leave law of 2016; the university’s Academic Parental Leave policy covers eligible faculty and academic staff. Families can apply for a child care grant to assist with expenses of up to $5,000 per year and enroll in a pre-tax dependent care reimbursement account that allows them to aside up to $5,000 a year for child care expenses. At the time of placement, a child can be added to the employee’s medical, dental, group life and personal accident plans, and parents can establish a 529 New York College Savings Plan.

Cornell has an on-site child care center available to parents, including adoptive and foster parents. Back-up care is also available for a nominal fee. Cornell’s work/life consultant can also provide options available in their local community.

For more information on Cornell’s support for adoption or foster care, see the Adoption Assistance and Parental Leave pages on Cornell’s HR website, or call the HR Services and Transitions Center at 607-255-3936.

Media Contact

Lindsey Hadlock