November 18, 2017

Building Families with VML's Award-Winning Adoption Benefits

November is National Adoption Awareness Month, a time to celebrate families who have grown through adoption and recognize the many children still waiting for forever homes.

For families adopting a child, support is critical -- from family and friends, as well as from employers. VMLers Luke Grover and Kelli Dame both adopted children this year with the help of VML's adoption benefits.

"Adoption was an amazing experience, but at times felt like a long, lonely and emotional process that only you and your immediate family truly understand," said Dame, editor, business development at VML. "To have not just assistance and flexibility but genuine excitement from Jon Cook, VML's global CEO; the HR team and co-workers -- it elevated the entire experience and made it easy to put our focus right where it needed to be, on our growing family." 

VML is proud its adoption benefits were recently ranked in the Top 100 of all U.S. companies and No. 1 -- the absolute best of any advertising, marketing and public relations agency -- by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

Last month, VML was also presented with the Silver Cradle Award, an honor from The Cradle Foundation, for the agency's superior commitment to providing adoption assistance to employees.

"From providing time off to financial assistance, VML is committed to helping build and strengthen families through adoption," said Annmarie Burnette, director, human resources and benefits. "Numerous VMLers have successfully built happy, thriving families. The lives that have been changed and stories that have been written are truly what matters."

VML's generous adoption benefits include as much as six weeks of paid leave if the employee is the primary caregiver and $8,000 per child (up to $16,000 per year) for adoption-related expenses.

"My family adopted internationally and the total cost was very daunting," said Grover, director, technology at VML. "The financial assistance VML provided really went a long way in easing this burden both mentally and financially. It allowed us to worry about our adoption and new child instead of large loan payments."

VML also recently introduced a new benefit -- the adoption coach option. "One of the things I realized when people started reaching out to me with adoption questions was that I didn't have a resource to send them to -- or the answers they were seeking," Burnette said. "This prompted VML to work with Kelly Ellison, CEO and founder of Kansas City business 'Your Adoption Finance Coach," who created a new benefit to offer to employers called the Employee Adoption Assistance Program."

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, one out of every 25 U.S. families with children have an adopted child. For more information on adoption, visit