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What the Kyte Baby Drama Reveals About Paid Leave For Adoptive Parents


February 6, 2024

Center staff member Natalie Shaak was quoted in an article about access to paid family leave programs for adoptive families. 

Natalie Shaak, who last year led a team from Drexel University's Center for Hunger-Free Communities on a brief that made the case for paid family leave, points out that many of those plans don't cover quite as many weeks for adoptive parents. "The reason why is because most paid family leave is done through disability-related insurances," Shaak says. "So it's more about the physical side of it. Even the amount of time that you can take is based on, 'Oh, did you have a vaginal birth or did you have a C-section?'"

For any parent — by birth or adoption — the benefits of paid leave go beyond simply bonding with their child. Research shows paid parental leave can reduce rates of smoking, alcohol consumption, intimate partner violence, and obesity.

Some advocates, like Shaak, believe the best hope for paid leave policies lies in convincing corporations that it can boost their bottom line. Since 2018, businesses have been able to claim tax credits for offering paid leave to employees. There's also research to show it can increase morale and productivity, to the tune of nearly 7 percent greater profit per full-time equivalent employee. Then there's recruitment and retention to consider. A recent Deloitte study of 1,000 US workers showed 77 percent could be swayed to work for an employer based on their paid leave benefits.

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