So, first of all, I went through infertility. I was BANNED from the world of getting pregnant easily, seeing the 2 lines, then going on to a have a cute, happy pregnancy, then having my beautiful child 9 months later. That was not happening for me. So, we moved on to adoption. And we couldn't be happier with that decision! Our baby girl is coming home to us soon, and we both know she is meant for our family...even though she is coming at the least convenient time ever:). We STILL know she is our daughter, and we love her already. We'll have to teach her about timing when she gets a little older...lol!
That said, I do NOT get two thirds of my pay for 6 weeks like EVERY other new (birth) mommy at my agency gets. How do they get away with that you ask? Well, my agency only *technically* offers unpaid maternity leave. However, they provide (and pay for) short term disability benefits, and every mom who gives birth qualifies. Therefore, they get two thirds of their pay for 6 weeks (maybe 12, I'm not sure?). When I brought this up to HR, stating that I could not access that benefit because I am not giving birth to my child, they didn't seem too concerned. They are *technically* providing the same benefit to all parents - we just can't ACCESS the benefits the same way.
So, I kindly suggested they consider offering adoption stipends, or something like that, for adopting families (MANY companies do this). HR then told me they don't offer stipends to help all the birthmoms with birth expenses, so why would they offer stipends to adoptive parents? My response to that was...you offer HEALTH BENEFITS that pay for birth expenses! So, I get a bill the size of a house (WELL worth it, mind you), and my agency can't seem to figure out why I might need extra support, too! I should mention I work for a non-profit agency that serves children and families....interesting, huh? I will say this once (for now): Adoptive families are unique. We face unique challenges, and unique gifts. Therefore, benefits and services should be considered that address our unique situation.
I can't go on and on about this because it gets me so worked up and I can't be worked up right now. Let me just say that it IS an injustice, it is unfair, and it should not be tolerated. But, hey, everything they are doing is *technically* legal...so what can I do?
If you are interested in learning about how to get adoption benefits through your company/agency, please go to: http://www.davethomasfoundation.org/Free-Adoption-Resources/Adoption-Benefits
There are great kits at that site. I sent it along to my HR rep. No, I'm not holding my breath.