In a world that is increasingly recognising the diverse paths to parenthood, it is crucial for companies to reflect this inclusivity in their policies and practices.
Adoption is a beautiful and selfless choice that deserves support and celebration too.
In an interaction with People Matters, Nivedita Kannan, Head of People Function at Mudrex, a global crypto investing platform, talks about their inclusive approach to adoption and the positive impact it has had on their organisation.
Adoption doesn't make a woman less of a mother: How can companies be inclusive in such situations?
Let’s first rephrase that sentence, shall we? Adoption also makes a woman a mother. Having a child is a personal choice that is the individual’s right to make independently. The means of having a child is even more of a personal choice to that individual. It is the responsibility of every facet of this society to acknowledge that and stop labeling a woman as a mother only under certain circumstances and ignore the others.
Adoption requires emotional maturity and intelligence beyond measure. If a female employee chooses to adopt, the organisation must do its best to support her during the process. Offering time off is a no-brainer. It is imperative to note though that the six months of maternity leave given to mothers who birth their child is also time given to the woman’s body to heal and recuperate.
While adoption doesn’t have those angles, it does require a lot of time with the child and the family unit to integrate the two emotionally and physically. Offering legal counsel, loans, or recommendations during the process are other ways to help the woman seeking to adopt a child.
What inspired your company to be more inclusive of adoption? How have you seen this benefit your organisation?
At Mudrex, the choice to be inclusive was very organically made. There was no agenda/quota/business strategy. Just a plain and simple people-first approach. Whatever we do, that is the underlying intent - to put our people above all else.
When we published the policy, I recall how the teams received it. They were really happy to see that we had thought of this much. Their response was validating and very positive. While we don’t have any adoption requests currently, we are ready to support any of our employees who would like to adopt.
How does your company support employees who are adopting children? What kinds of adoption-related benefits and resources does your company offer?
At Mudrex, we support and encourage adoption. We have 12 weeks of paid time off to any individual who is adopting a child. We also offer legal aid, counselling support, administrative support with the process and financial assistance if any is required.
Additionally, we would definitely visit every request for flexibility we get from our employees and approve those that really could do well with the time off. Knowing early on that such requests can come their way enables leads to plan work better during that period.
What advice would you give to other companies who are looking to be more inclusive of adoption and support their employees who are adopting children?
While making any guideline or policy, it is important to think of the employees as a diverse set of people who will not all have the same needs. While we can’t cater to each individual need, it is always a good practice to make yourself relatable and accessible to the broad groups of people in our society and workforce.
If your parental leave policy doesn’t cover adoption as a means of parenting, please revisit your policy today. Your teams will thank you for it.