Adoption Assistance

Our Adoption Assistance Plan, open to full-time faculty and staff, reimburses newly adoptive parents up to $15,000 for eligible expenses associated with adopting a child under the age of 12. To learn more about eligibility, plan details, covered expenses, and how to apply, click the tabs below.


To participate in our Adoption Assistance Plan, you must be a full-time faculty, staff, or bargaining unit member with at least one year of full-time JHU service immediately prior to the initiation of the adoption process and remain employed through the date of adoption.  Visiting full-time faculty are not eligible for this plan.

Children covered by the plan include any child under age 12 at the time the adoption process is initiated. Adoptions of stepchildren or children of same-sex domestic partners are not eligible if the natural, custodial parent is living.

If the adoption involves a child who is a citizen or resident of the United States, qualified adoption expenses will be eligible for reimbursement if the adoption proceedings are finalized or formally terminated.

Plan Details

This plan covers documented, eligible expenses for a single adoption up to a maximum of $15,000 per family. For the simultaneous adoption of two children, the maximum reimbursement will be $30,000 per family for all eligible expenses.

Requests must be received within 90 days of the adoption. Reimbursements are paid via payroll. In accordance with IRS requirements, reimbursements are subject to FICA and Medicare taxes, which will be withheld when paid. Reimbursements are not subject to federal income tax withholding and are also exempt from state income tax withholding in most states, including Maryland. The reimbursement will be reflected in box 12 of your W-2. Because there are income limits associated with the exclusion and possible differences between state and federal regulations, we recommend that employees seek tax advice regarding this benefit.

Reimbursement under the plan is limited to one adoption process during any two-year period.

Reimbursable Expenses

The following expenses are reimbursable under JHU’s Adoption Assistance Plan:

  • Adoption fees – reasonable and customary public and private agency fees that are permitted or required under the law of the state or country having jurisdiction over the adoption;
  • Court costs;
  • Attorney fees;
  • Traveling expenses, including transportation, meals, and lodging; and
  • Other expenses which are directly related to, and the principal purpose of which is for the legal adoption of an Eligible Child by an Eligible Employee.

The following expenses, however, will not be eligible for reimbursement under the Plan:

  • Expenses incurred in violation of state or federal law;
  • Expenses incurred in carrying out any surrogate parenting arrangement*;
  • Expenses incurred in connection with the adoption by the Eligible Employee of a child of the Eligible Employee’s spouse or domestic partner;
  • Expenses already paid or reimbursed under another employer plan or otherwise paid by any other party; or
  • Costs associated with legal guardianship.

Qualified adoption expenses for foreign adoptions will not be eligible for reimbursement under the Plan until the adoption becomes final.

* The University offers a separate, fully-taxable, gestational surrogacy benefit for certain eligible employees outside of the Adoption Assistance Plan.  As with the Adoption Assistance Plan, the University reserves the right to amend or terminate the gestational surrogacy benefit at any time and for any reason.


To participate in JHU’s Adoption Assistance Plan, submit a completed adoption plan form to Johns Hopkins University, Office of Benefits Services, Johns Hopkins at Eastern, 1101 E. 33rd St., Suite C020, Baltimore, MD 21218, or fax to 443-997-6812.