Penn helps parents navigate the adoption process

Dear Benny:
My spouse and I have decided to take what is without question one of the biggest steps of our lives: We are going to adopt a child. Does Penn offer any programs to prospective parents to help them through the adoption process?
—Welcoming The Stork

Dear WTS:
Bringing a new child into your life through adoption is a joyous occasion, and a very big life change. You may be able to get some help by checking out Penn’s Adoption Assistance benefits. The University offers a number of resources regarding all the phases of adoption, including reimbursement of up to $5,000 in qualified expenses for eligible faculty and staff. Penn will also work with you to arrange time off from work during the adoption process, and will provide resources to help you in raising your family’s newest addition.

According to the Adoption Assistance Policy, all active, full-time faculty with a benefits-eligible title, regular full-time staff and limited service employees are eligible to participate in the adoption benefits plan after completing their first year of employment. The reimbursement plan covers both foreign and domestic adoptions and helps pay for court costs, attorney’s fees and travel expenses. You can find complete details at www.hr.upenn.edu/Quality/WorkLife/Adoption.aspx.

Penn also helps parents after the adoption is final, with family-friendly benefits that include on-campus daycare at Penn’s Children Center and a back-up care program designed to help parents deal with unexpected emergencies, such as a caretaker cancelling at the last minute. The University also offers snow day childcare for children of Penn faculty and staff members when the University is open but the Philadelphia schools are closed due to inclement weather. Children from 12 weeks to 12 years of age are eligible for the program, and kids who attend school outside the Philadelphia district are also welcome.

If you have further questions, contact Human Resources at 215-573-2471 or www.hr.upenn.edu.

Got a question for Benny? Send it via e-mail to current@pobox.upenn.edu or via regular mail to the Current, 200 Sansom Place East, 3600 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6106.

Originally published on September 30, 2010