The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption has released its 15th annual best adoption-friendly workplaces list.

What You Need To Know

  • The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption released their annual best adoption friendly workplaces list

  • This list showcases 100 organizations with robust adoption benefits programs

  • Right now, thousands of children are in foster care, waiting to be adopted

The list recognizes organizations with the most robust adoption benefits programs. 

Rita Soronen, the president and CEO for The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, explained that it's not easy to make this top 100 list. 

Each of the employers on the list gives benefits to employees who form families through adoption. 

"There are large and small companies on this list. First of all, we weigh based on the number of employees that can benefit from their financial reimbursement or leave and then we look at what they look at, what they provide in terms of financial reimbursement, what do they provide in terms of leave, is it paid or unpaid leave? Then again, we look at the number of employees and all of those things are weighted in order to put them on this list of 100 best workplaces,” Soronen said.  

One of the workplaces that made the list is Fifth Third Bancorp, where Brian Gibson and Aaron Smith both worked when they adopted their son, Landon. 

The couple said they started the adoption process in 2018 and Landon was born in 2019. He was born early and went into the newborn intensive care unit.

"I think that is where one of the benefits of the adoption perks from Fifth Third bank really came into play was the paternity leave," Gibson said. "Being in our situation, there is no maternity leave, just paternity leave.” 

They each had four weeks paternity leave which allowed them to spend valuable time with their new baby. 

"Just that bonding time plus that fumbling through and learning to be a parent," Gibson said. "It is important to have that dedicated time.” 

Now, two-and-a-half years later, Landon is healthy and thriving in his home, but many children across the country and right here in Ohio are still looking for their forever families. 

Right now in America, more than 120,000 children are waiting to be adopted from foster care and in Ohio, 4,000 children are waiting to be adopted. 

Smith and Gibson hope to inspire other families to consider adoption. 

"So, we have hopefully been able to leave an impression on friends who were nervous about it or not one-hundred percent there yet, but now they say 'yeah, we are definitely going to do this',” Gibson said. 

You can click here for resources and information on adoption including a beginners guide that walks through all of the steps of adoption, from connecting with a child welfare agency to beginning the matching process for families.