Employees to receive paid adoption leave

John Brown University’s cabinet recently passed a policy allowing faculty who are adopting a child to receive three weeks of paid leave.

Mandy Moore, professor of marketing, and her husband Bryson, are one of the couples currently on the road to adoption.

Mandy Moore said the path of adoption is not for the faint of heart.

“Adoption is a very complex experience,” explained Moore.

After discovering they were unable to conceive, the Moores started down the path of international adoption. They experienced the strain of the adoption process from the paperwork to the long time delays, but especially the financial strain.

The Moores estimated they will spend $30,000 on the process. This amount disregards the unpaid leave they are required to take once the child comes home.

The adoptive mother must take a minimum of six weeks off when the child first arrives, so families can focus on bonding with their new child.

“It is critical that they [create] attachment,” Moore said.

The new University policy helps families meet the requirement with greater ease.

Darrin Coon, business and human resource manager, explained the change in policy.

“On a practical level, this helps couples who are adopting meet the many requirements of a rigorous adoption process with fewer risks of unpaid time away from work,” he said.

The policy came after many University families went through the process of adoption and unpaid leave.

“Several of those families brought a request for paid leave time to the attention of the Employee Benefits Committee and the Diversity Committee.” Coon said. “These committees serve as a means by which employee requests can be reviewed and potentially recommended by the Committees for consideration by the Cabinet.”

The committees only provide suggestions, while the cabinet makes the actual decision to approve new policies, Coon explained. Together, two committees brought a joint recommendation for adoption benefits.

Moore agreed that this is a positive movement forward.

“The families that went before us, we’re benefiting from them,” she said. “I’ve always had a feeling that JBU is supportive of family. I just feel so blessed to be a part of JBU.”

The Moores are thankful to see the Lord’s provision through the University’s new policy. Moore said through this journey she learned that the Lord funds what is close to his heart.