Vanguard adoption support story

Vanguard’s support in my family’s adoption experience

Vanguard has an inspiring mission to help investors of all types, and I’ve been happy to be a part of it for more than ten years. I have also found Vanguard to be a place that values employees with families of all types. I experienced this during the adoption of two of my children.

Adopting a child can be a challenging and very expensive process —agency fees, social worker costs, legal and government requirements, and many other things add up. We benefited greatly from Vanguard’s Adoption Assistance Program, which reimbursed a significant part of these costs. Additionally, the Parental Leave benefit provides six weeks of paid leave for all parents, including adoptive parents, which was incredibly helpful to not only finalize the adoption, but also for us to be able to spend time together at home as a new family.

Vanguard adoption support story

Me and my new daughter

I have used Vanguard’s Adoption Assistance Program twice.  My wife and I had adopted our oldest daughter as a baby when I first joined Vanguard, and we also had a biological son, but felt we had room in our family for one more.

Vanguard adoption support story

We knew there were some children who were older or had special needs and were still waiting to have a family of their own. Last year, we adopted our seven-year-old daughter from China.

She didn’t speak English at the time of her adoption, but the orphanage caretakers told us through translators how happy she was to hear the news: “…she looks so excited, she keeps saying, I have a mom and dad!” Can you imagine being seven, without a mom and dad, then finding out you do have a family, and they are coming to take you home?

We spent two weeks in China and took our older two children, then 10 and 11, along with us to meet our daughter and bring her home. Our new “mèimei” (younger sister) was shy at first, but quickly showed that she had a size 10 personality in a size 7 body. I can still picture her marching through the busy city of Guangzhou cheerily calling out to hotel staff, “Nǐhǎo!” (hello) with her family struggling to keep up with her. Spotting a moth on a window, she shouts to her new family, “Jiě jie! Guò lái! Nǐ kàn!” (Sister, come here, look!)

The process was challenging, requiring a lot of trust and faith from her, us, and others, that somehow it will all work out right. In many ways, we pursue things in life that are difficult, and they often end up being worth the effort more than anything else. This is one of them.

Vanguard adoption support story

First meeting her

During my leave and return, I also experienced an incredible demonstration of support from my work colleagues and management team who were happy along with me and had so many words of encouragement and ensured a supportive and flexible environment as I took time away to go bring our daughter home.

I appreciate that Vanguard values employees holistically and recognizes families can be formed in various ways, not only in traditional ones. By supporting adoptive parents through the Adoption Assistance Program and Parental Leave Policy, Vanguard makes it possible for more people to choose adoption. For the crew members who have room in their hearts and homes to be a family to a child who needs one, I hope they will use Vanguard’s benefits and any other resources to adopt.

-Perry B.

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