Sarah Mahalchick and her future husband talked on one of their first dates about wanting to adopt. There were lots of children out there who needed parents, they told each other from the start.

But when they were ready to expand their family, they opted for fertility treatments, including in vitro fertilization. It seemed to make sense: Ms. Mahalchick’s employer would pay for a large chunk of the treatments through her health insurance; it offered almost no help on adoption.

Fertility benefits are becoming almost trendy at blue-chip companies, with more firms offering to help with the costs of IVF and egg freezing. But in many cases, companies that offer fertility benefits give no financial assistance to employees who want to adopt, and when they do their adoption benefits are often much less generous.

Estimates on how many companies offer fertility or adoption benefits are fuzzy. Most employers give neither. But the gap is clear.

The Society for Human Resource Management estimates that as of 2018, 27% of employers offered some form of infertility coverage and 11% offered adoption assistance. FertilityIQ, a website that offers courses and other information on family building, regularly scours benefit disclosures from thousands of employers. In a report released Saturday, it calculates that only one in five companies that offer fertility coverage also offer adoption assistance.



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By EDONS