Whether you are considering domestic or international adoption, we have a number of benefits available to help you through the process.

By contacting GW's Employee Assistance Program you will be connected with a work-life consultant who can help you figure out how to get started with the adoption process. Work-life consultants can also help put you in contact with adoption agencies that meet your specific needs. 

The Employee Assistance Program also offers emotional support as you partake on a rewarding journey.

Both domestic and international adoptions can require a heap of legal paperwork. Employees who have enrolled in GW's Legal Resources benefit have access to a network of lawyers who can help you understand the legal implications of adopting.

GW's Employee Assistance Program also provides general legal guidance and can help find referrals and discounts to legal professionals in your area. While speaking with your EAP consultant, ask about financial services to help you budget for your future child's needs.

The birth or placement of a child is a qualifying life event that allows you to make applicable changes to your GW benefit elections. If you wish to add your child to your health coverage or request other changes, you can do so by logging into the benefits enrollment system within 60 calendar days after the date of birth/placement and starting a new enrollment. This might also be a good time to consider opening a Dependent Day Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA) if you will be paying for childcare. A DCFSA allows you to pay for your childcare costs pre-tax, saving you money.

Please note: DCFSAs cannot be newly elected or continued during a paid or unpaid leave of absence lasting longer than 30 days. If you wish to elect a DCFSA upon your return from leave, you may do so within 30 calendar days of your return.

GW provides up to six continuous weeks of paid parental leave for eligible full-time staff. Faculty, Medical Residents and Postdocs should review their respective leave policy handbooks for parental leave benefits information.

Eligible GW employees can take up to 16 weeks of medical leave and 16 work weeks of family leave after the birth of a child under the District of Columbia Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Applying for FMLA is important, not only because it is required of you as an employee, but also because it protects your job while you are out on leave. Even if you are planning to use sick or annual time during your leave period, you must still apply for FMLA. University policy requires at least 30 days’ notice for FMLA leave.

In addition to paid parental leave, you may use your available sick and annual time to cover some or all of your time away (depending on your time off balances). You may also take unpaid leave. 

GW provides benefits-eligible faculty and staff access to family care resources including in-home care for children or adults, in-center back-up care and elder care through Bright Horizons.