Adoption Assistance Program
In order to support eligible faculty and staff who are adoptive parents, the University offers an Adoption Assistance Reimbursement Program. All regular full-time and part-time benefit-eligible faculty and staff who are building a family may be eligible for financial support to help defray expenses related towards the cost associated with adopting a child. In addition, Loyola also offers a paid parental leave benefit to regular full-time faculty, and full-time and part-time staff employees who are scheduled to work at least 20 hours per week following the adoption. More information can be found on our Paid Parental Leave policy page.
All regular full-time employees (.80 FTE or higher) and part-time employees (Lakeside .53 FTE or higher; HSD .50 or higher) that have been employed for 1 year of service immediately prior to adoption and employed through the date of adoption are eligible for this benefit. An individual that the Employer classifies as a [regular] employee in its payroll record is eligible to participate in the Program [as shown above]. An individual is not eligible to participate in the Program if that individual is an independent contractor, adjunct faculty, temporary lecturers, graduate assistants and students. No individual performing services in relation to the Employer is eligible to participate if the employer considers the services to be performed in the course of self-employment or employment by anyone other than the Employer (e.g., a temporary employment agency).
Documented expenses will be covered for a single child adoption up to 90% for covered expenses up to a maximum of $5,000 (or $6,000 if the child has special needs). The benefit will be paid only for the adoption of children under the age of 18 or who are physically or mentally incapable of caring for themselves. Children may be related, or non-related to the employee. Expenses must be submitted no later than 12 months following the adoption date, along with itemized bills or receipts substantiating the amount and nature of the adoption expenses, including a copy of the final decree of adoption. Benefits will not be paid on a retro-active basis and only expenses occurring after the original start date of the program will be considered. There is a maximum benefit of two adoptions per lifetime.
Tax considerations: the adoption assistance benefit is not subject to federal or Illinois state tax withholding, but is subject to FICA withholding tax.
- Reasonable and customary public and private agency fees permitted or required under the law of the state having jurisdiction over the adoption
- Reasonable and Customary legal fees, court fees, and counseling fees
- Transportation fees associated with the adoption (including amounts spent for meals and lodging while away from home)
- Temporary foster care
- Medical expenses for the adoptive child prior to legal adoption/placement that are not covered by insurance
Non Eligible Expenses
- Cost associated with Legal Guardianship
- Adoption of stepchildren
- Pre-natal or maternity costs of the birth mother or a surrogate parenting arrangement of the adoptive child
- Costs that occurred prior to employment or adoptions that were completed prior to eligibility
- Expenses later than 12 months following the adoption date
Other limitations: Benefits are not payable for the adoption of stepchildren.
Policy and Procedures
- Eligible children include any child under the age of 18 at the time the adoption process is initiated. Benefits are payable at the time the child is placed in the home, after the legal adoption is finalized.
- Request for reimbursement must be made within 12 months of the adoption.
- Reimbursement will be made following submission of a completed Adoption Assistance Program Reimbursement Form. Acceptable documentation of eligible expenses consist of itemized bills, either stamped paid or accompanied by receipts or canceled checks. Acceptable documentation of the adoption process may consists of governmental documents clearly demonstrating that the adoption has either been approved or denied or governmental documentation demonstrating that you have legal custody of the child/children prior to the finalizations of adoption, include documentation as to the date the adoption will take place. Copy of final adoption decree and birth certificate is required.
- Adoption benefits paid under the program will be excluded from your income for federal income tax purposes to the extent permitted under Internal Revenue Code section 137. The employee is responsible for understanding the tax treatment of reimbursements under this program and for claiming the applicable income exclusion by filing Form 8839 with your federal income taxes. [Form 8839 and instructions are available from the IRS and on the IRS website at www.irs.gov]. It is important for you to understand that although reimbursements are exempt from federal income tax withholding, the Employer is required to withhold federal employment taxes from reimbursements (for Social Security and Medicare). The total amount of reimbursements to the IRS will be shown on your W-2 Form in Box 12 (Code T).
- Eligible employees can claim the Adoption Reimbursement benefit up to two times per lifetime. In the instance of multiples, each placement would be counted individually.
- In the event that both adopting parents are employees of Loyola University Chicago, the benefit will only be applied once up to a maximum of two adoptions per lifetime.
- Questions about the this plan should be directed to the Loyola University Benefits Department Water Tower Campus at 312.915.6175 or firstname.lastname@example.org.