While not everyone takes advantage of DHG’s generous Adoption Benefit, those who do understand how special it is. DHG not only provides full parental leave for adoptive parents, but they reimburse up to $5,000 in adoption expenses. In five minutes or less…DHG podcast host, Alice Grey Harrison, shares how special this benefit was to her family during the adoption of their daughter.
AGH: Welcome back to another episode of our DHG Podcast series. I'm Alice Grey Harrison, your host, and today I want to introduce you to a new series that we're going to be doing, Five Minute Fridays. This new addition to our podcast series is where we will highlight some of the great benefits offered by DHG. We recently went through open enrollment and as I was personally going through it, looking at all of the great benefits being offered, I thought to myself, "Wow, every year they seem to be adding more and more great benefits."
And I thought it might be interesting if we took a look at the benefits in a short, quick podcast highlighting ways that our employees are using the benefits and also highlighting things that people may not know about our benefits. These podcasts will be short and sweet, five minutes or less. They may not happen every Friday, but they will always come out on a Friday, so we're calling them Five Minute Fridays.
Today we're going to talk about the Adoption Assistance Policy, and I decided to lead with this because I actually used this policy two years ago when my precious daughter was born. The DHG Adoption Assistance Policy is primarily designed to assist adoptive parents with financial aspects of adopting a child. When we went through adoption, it was shocking how expensive adoption is due to many different factors.
But DHG reimburses us up to $5,000 in actual expenses for the legal and adoption fees associated with adopting a child. It's a taxable benefit and it does not apply to the adoption of stepchildren. For my family, one of the things that really struck us was financially how expensive it was. When we first met with the attorney, my husband and I both looked at each other and began to get creative on how were we going to finance the adoption. Neither one of us were willing to dip into our 401(k) or any type of significant savings or stocks. So we really did get creative.
We both sold — we had fairly new cars that were paid for, so we sold them and bought older cars. We knew that once we got through the adoption, there would be $5,000 that Dixon Hughes Goodman would be giving us to show their support of us going through this process. As soon as the adoption was final, we filed the paperwork for the $5,000. We were fortunate enough to go ahead and put that into her college fund and I thank DHG for supporting me through the process.
All of that was wonderful, but the most, to me, meaningful part of our Adoption Assistance Program is our parental leave. At Dixon Hughes Goodman, we offer 10 weeks parental leave to the primary caregiver, whether or not you are giving birth to the child or adopting the child, and then two weeks to the secondary caregiver. When my daughter was born, I had never met the birth mom, didn't have a connection, so having that 10 weeks to bond with my child was amazing.
I didn't have the luxury of nine months to prepare my mind and to bond with her. So those 10 weeks were super important to me, and it meant so much to me that DHG showed they supported me in being a mother by giving me the same parental leave as if I had given birth. And I'll always be grateful for that gift that DHG gave me to be home with her for those 10 weeks and to know that my firm supported me in it. It was an amazing process that I went through.
So that's it, I wanted to take a quick minute to highlight our Adoption Assistance. I hope you enjoyed this. Perhaps there is a benefit that means a lot to you and you'd like to share your story. Please feel free to reach out to me, Alice Grey Harrison. Until our next Five Minute Friday, thank you for listening to life at DHG, our premier podcast series.
Alice Grey Harrison, APR, is the Director of Corporate Communications. As such she oversees all of DHG’s internal and external communications. When she’s not working or having tea parties with her daughter, she enjoys hiking, boating, travel and yoga.