Monday, May 07, 2007

Adoption-Friendly Companies

They're family friendly
Michele Hooper, a Timberland employee who adopted a baby girl from China two years ago, said the financial help she got from her company was the only way she could afford an adoption without taking out loans. Hooper, 37, is a single mother from Barrington who has worked at Timberland for seven years. She started thinking about adopting because she wanted to have a baby before she got too much older and "Mr. Right didn't show up."

The company gave her $12,000 to put toward the adoption and two weeks of paid leave to fly to China to pick up her daughter, Jocelyn.

"I didn't know how I was going to be able to afford it," said Hooper, whose adoption cost more than $20,000 in agency fees, travel expenses and legal paperwork. "I can't even imagine my life without her now."

Jackie Mitchell, senior manager for work life for Timberland, said the company added adoption assistance to the company's benefits package in 1994 at the request of an employee interested in adopting. Since then, 20 children have been adopted by Timberland employees, Mitchell said.


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