We’re in Great Company with Adoption-Friendly Workplaces

I’ve written here before about Wendy’s long-time commitment to foster care adoption. It’s a passion that flows throughout our system of restaurants around the world, and a cause we work to elevate in the minds of the public every chance we get. With more than 6,000 restaurants in North America alone, we touch millions of customers every day with the message from our founder Dave Thomas: Unadoptable is Unacceptable.

But we’re not just a brand, we’re also an employer, and our support for adoption starts at home – with our employees. Since 1990, we have offered adoption benefits to employees. And since 2007, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption has published an annual ranking of the most adoption-friendly workplaces in the country. In the first year of the list, we actually ranked 21st.  I wasn’t with Wendy’s at the time, but I can only imagine how that news went over. It’s pretty clear that anything less than #1 was not going to cut it for future years at Wendy’s! So since 2008, we’ve proudly topped the list of Most Adoption-Friendly Workplaces based on the benefits we provide to employees who build their families through adoption.

Those benefits, which include paid time off for bonding and up to $30,000 in financial assistance for each adopted child, help our employees navigate the challenging and life-changing experience of adopting a child. And while our charitable efforts focus on foster care adoption and finding forever, loving families for children who are waiting in our foster care system, as an employer, we offer adoption benefits for any type of adoption – foster care, domestic, international, or otherwise.

Quite simply, family is family no matter how it’s formed, and building strong families at home makes our workplace family even stronger.

This year, however, another company took top honors in the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s annual rankings. We are thrilled to recognize the work of Ferring Pharmaceuticals for topping the list this year, followed by Citizens Bank, Abbott and Hanes Brands.  These companies clearly recognize that supporting their employees’ adoption journeys is not just a feel-good thing, it’s also good business. We have seen over and over again that our support of adoption pays back ten-fold in employee goodwill and engagement.

A New Status For Wendy’s

So where is Wendy’s on this year’s list you might ask? We talked with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption earlier this year and together agreed that after a history of holding the top spot, we’d transition to Forever Family status. It’s a permanent place of honor for us, and also one that allows us to be the loudest cheerleaders we can for other companies on the list.

Is your company on the list? Sound off in the comments below and tell us about your adoption journey and how your company’s benefits helped.

To get started, here's a story from Wendy's very own Pat McCauley.  He and his wife Aldina utilized Wendy's adoption benefits to welcome their son Abram into their home.




We remember that day in 2014 like it was yesterday. We had just celebrated Father’s Day with our Dads the day before, and while we didn’t have a child to call us Mom and Dad, we remained optimistic that one day our dreams would come true. Our adoption agency called to share the exciting news that we had been selected by a couple who was pursuing an adoption plan. We were thrilled beyond belief!

Our adoption journey began almost two and half years earlier, but our desire to have a family started soon after we were married in 2009. We experienced many ups and downs through the years, including a failed adoption in March 2012. It was emotionally difficult to overcome that experience, but we relied on our faith, family, friends and most importantly, each other, to continue to pursue our lifelong dream.

Pat, Aldina & Abram McCauley

Pat, Aldina & Abram McCauley

In February 2014, we became active with a national adoption agency. It was like starting all over, but our chances of getting selected quickly increased since we were not limiting ourselves to adoption opportunities in just one state. Little did we know that six months later we would have the proud honor of being called Mom and Dad! Our son Abram was born on August 15, 2014 at 3:16 PM, and at that moment when the doctor cracked open the door to let us know that he was a healthy baby boy, we were overcome by emotion!

We were out of state for approximately two weeks after Abram was born. That time that we shared with Abram will always be a memorable experience for both of us. Abram just celebrated his second birthday, and we couldn’t imagine our life without him! Looking back, all of those life experiences happened for a reason, so that Abram could be part of our family. We truly believe we were all meant to be together. He is such a blessing to us and our family, and we will always be grateful to the wonderful birth parents who unselfishly chose us to be his parents.

We could go on and on about Abram and how proud we are that we grew our family through adoption. Our experiences wouldn’t have been possible without the generous adoption benefits provided by Wendy’s and the support that the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption provides to the Wendy’s family and beyond. We are proud that Wendy’s is so passionate about adoption and committed to supporting such a worthy cause. We sincerely appreciate Wendy’s support in our journey of becoming parents.

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