Adoption Reimbursement

With the Emory University Adoption Reimbursement Plan, you can get reimbursed for the expenses of adopting a child.

About this Plan

Emory University will reimburse eligible employees for qualified adoption expenses up to $5,000 per finalized adoption under the Emory University Adoption Reimbursement Plan (the “Plan”) set forth below.

In addition, the university has implemented a separate policy to provide taxable benefits to reimburse employees eligible to participate in this plan for certain expenses incurred for the adoption of a child of a spouse or child of a same-sex domestic partner.

Who is Eligible?


You are an eligible employee if you have completed one year of service and are:

  • a faculty member who regularly works 50% or more of the required full-time workload or
  • a staff member or postdoctoral fellow who regularly works 20 hours or more per week

An eligible employee does not include employees of Emory Healthcare, medical residents, students, any leased employees within the meaning of §414(n) of the Code, or any party not classified as an employee by Emory University.


An eligible child is any individual who, at the time the qualified adoption expenses are paid, is under the age of 18 or is physically or mentally incapable of caring for him or herself and is being adopted by an eligible employee. An eligible child does not include a blood relative or a child or blood relative of your spouse, same sex spouse or domestic partner.

*See also - Supplement A, Supplemental Taxable Adoption Assistance Policy, in the Plan Document for additional eligible children.


Reimbursement for qualified adoption expenses (as described below) will only be made after a finalized adoption of an eligible child and if you are an eligible employee at the time that the expense was paid and the reimbursement is requested.

The Plan will reimburse up to $5,000 of qualified adoption expenses per eligible child, for expenses incurred on or after January 1, 2014.

The maximum reimbursement is up to $5,000 per adoption, which is limited to two adoptions throughout employment, to total a maximum of $10,000 over two adoptions.

Reimbursement Procedures

Eligible employees may apply for reimbursement of qualified adoption expenses upon placement of the eligible child in the employee’s home. Applications for reimbursement must be made within six (6) months following the finalization of the adoption.

Submit the completed adoption reimbursement request form with verifying documents and invoices to the Benefits and WorkLife Department (contact information below).

Qualifying Adoption Expenses

Qualifying adoption expenses are reasonable and necessary adoption related expenses (as defined in Section 36C(d)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code), and currently include, but are not exclusively limited to:

  • Domestic and foreign agency and placement fees;
  • Counseling fees associated with the placement and initial adjustment;
  • Immigration, immunization and translation fees;
  • Temporary foster care provided before placement of the eligible child in your home;
  • Home inspections costs;
  • Medical expenses paid on behalf of the eligible child prior to adoption that are not otherwise covered by insurance; and
  • Travel expenses (including amounts expended for meals and lodging while away from home)

Qualifying Adoption Expenses do not include:

  • Expenses paid while not an eligible employee
  • Expenses paid in violation of state or federal law;
  • Expenses paid in carrying out any surrogate parenting arrangement;
  • Expenses for establishing legal guardianship;
  • Expenses paid for the routine care of an eligible child;
  • Expenses reimbursed under another adoption program; and
  • Expenses claimed as a credit on your personal tax return.

Tax Exclusion or Tax Credit?

A professional tax advisor is your best source of information about whether you should seek reimbursement of Qualifying Adoption Expenses from the Plan or claim the tax credit. You may also obtain further information from IRS Form 8839, Qualified Adoption Expenses and its instructions that can be obtained from the IRS website.

Adoption Resources

  • Emory's Faculty & Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) offers free confidential counseling and support to assist individuals in the process of adoption. 
  • The Georgia Center for Resources and Support provides a centralized resource for adoptive parents to help them locate the help they need to be successful in meeting the needs of their adopted children.
  • Families First, Georgia’s largest family service agency, has skilled professional counseling and supportive services for families, couples, children and individuals such as parenting education, foster care and adoption.
  •, a website to help people adopt or foster a child, baby or orphan.

Contact Us

Benefits and Work Life
1599 Clifton Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30322
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday:
8:00 am – 5:00 pm

8:00 am – 3:00 pm