Adoption Assistance Program
The Columbia University Adoption Assistance Program is a benefit designed to help with the cost of adopting a child. The benefit reimburses up to $7,500 per finalized adoption, and is offered to full-time, regular benefits-eligible Officers and full-time, regular Non-Union Support Staff, on or after the first day of full-time employment.
If you adopt two children at the same time, the maximum reimbursement is $15,000 for combined adoption-related expenses. If both you and your spouse are eligible Officers or Non-Union Support Staff, you are eligible for a maximum $15,000 reimbursement per finalized adoption ($30,000 for simultaneous adoption of two children).
After an application is approved, reimbursement is paid in your paycheck. No federal, state, or city taxes will be withheld. In accordance with IRS requirements, however, FICA and Medicare taxes will be withheld.
Employees become eligible for employer reimbursements through Maven Wallet upon hire.
Each plan year starts each January 1st and ends each December 31st. Eligible expenses must be incurred on or after July 1, 2022.
Who is eligible?
- Full-time, regular benefits-eligible Officers and full-time, regular Non-Union Support Staff are eligible to activate their Maven Wallet for employer reimbursements.
- Union employees, regardless of their participation in the Columbia University medical plan, are ineligible to activate their Maven Wallet.
Important Notes on Expense Eligibility
- Eligible expenses must be incurred after employee eligibility begins.
- Eligible expenses include those for services for you or your spouse/covered dependent.
- Any expense that is reimbursed by any other source (including any reimbursement accounts held by your eligible spouse/covered dependent) is ineligible for reimbursement.
You must submit any claim for reimbursement within 180 days of finalizing an adoption for which you have incurred an eligible expense.
Adoption reimbursement is available for the adoption expenses associated with the legal finalized adoption of any child (whether adopted domestically or internationally) under age 18 at the time the expense is incurred. This includes a child of your registered domestic partner if you live in a state that allows a same-sex second parent or co-parent to adopt his or her partner's child, but it does not include the child of your spouse (i.e., a stepchild). You’ll be required to provide documentation of the finalized adoption.
- Eligible Expenses
- Agency placement fees
- Court costs and legal fees
- Immigration, immunization and translation fees
- Travel and lodging costs for the intended parents and any minor children associated with the adoption process (including ground and air travel)
- Required education directly related to the adoption
- Home study fees
- Ineligible Expenses
- Fees for a birth mother's maternity care
What an incredible journey you’re embarking on! The Maven Wallet program provides you with access to employer reimbursements for eligible adoption and/or surrogacy expenses.
Make the most of Maven Wallet by reading this document to understand your reimbursement options for eligible expenses.
If you have any questions about Columbia University’s Maven Wallet program, please email [email protected].
If a portion of, or your entire claim, is denied, you will be notified of this determination in writing within six (6) months of receipt of your claim by the Benefits Department. The determination of the AVP of Benefits and Compensation with respect to your claim shall be binding and final. If you wish to bring a civil court action challenging the denial of a portion of, or your entire claim, you must file any such action within one (1) year following the issuance of the denial notice. In addition, any such action must be filed in a court of competent jurisdiction with venue in New York County.
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, the University reserves the right in its sole discretion to change or terminate, in whole or in part, the Program at any time.