It’s the list that prompted policy change. After the first Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces in America list debuted in 2007, more than 50 organizations nationwide established or enhanced adoption benefits for 2008. Overall, employers who made the top 100 list, released today by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, offered more robust adoption benefits packages this year to make it and Wendy’s International, Inc. ranked No. 1. (The foundation is not an affiliate of Wendy’s International, Inc.)

Wendy’s offers employees up to $23,300 in financial reimbursement and six weeks of paid leave per adoption. In 2007, the company provided $7,000 and the same amount of paid leave. The average adoption-friendly employer has had its adoptions benefits package policy in place for eight years, offers up to $5,000 in financial assistance and five weeks of paid leave.

“Supporting adoption and helping find permanent, loving homes for foster children was the vision of our founder Dave Thomas,” says Kerrii Anderson, CEO and president of Wendy’s International, Inc. “There is no finer cause than the support of families who are trying to adopt children, and we’re proud that Wendy’s has been recognized for our efforts. Many of our employees have adopted children, and we hope to empower more employees in the future with meaningful benefits and support.”

Rankings for the list are based on the amount of financial assistance and paid leave provided in adoption benefits packages. The Foundation compiled the results from survey data collected from 919 U.S. employers. Several survey partners helped extend the survey’s scope by asking their subscribers/members to participate: Employee Benefit News, a SourceMedia publication that is the leading source of information for benefits decision makers; the National Restaurant Association; and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to ranking the top 100, the Foundation also recognized the top 10 by size, the leaders of each industry, and companies who support the cause of adoption in other ways. Wendy’s also ranked No. 1 among large businesses and in the food, beverage, and restaurant industry. Go to to view each of the lists, watch video testimonials, and check out photos and quotes from winners.

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