Employee says adoption is worth the wait


November 17, 2022
Chantel and Nick Fiorante with their daughter, Gracie.

U.S. Bank Adoption Assistance Reimbursement and Parental Leave Programs give employees financial support and time.

It’s National Adoption Month, and for Chantel Fiorante this Thanksgiving will be a special celebration - it marks one year from when the State of Oregon recognized Gracie as her daughter. The U.S. Bank Oregon Branch Banking administrative market manager vividly remembers when months earlier her case worker declared, “You’re having a girl!”    

“When we visited Gracie’s foster home for our first meeting earlier last year, we were quickly reminded why we chose adoption. She waddled to us, just 14 months at the time, with the biggest grin and shirt that read ‘Worth the wait’ and Gracie truly was worth the wait,” Chantel said. 

Chantel and her husband, Nick, started out their marriage with a heart for adoption, not even realizing at the time that they wouldn’t be able to have a biological child. Once they ruled out infertility treatments, she recalls how a simple Internet search became overwhelming and confusing as they started exploring adoption options. Finally, they found Boys & Girls Aid, and after an informative training session, the couple landed on foster adoption (adopting a child who is currently in foster care). 

Several months later and following an in-depth exploratory process which Chantel says leaves no privacy, they were given access to the state foster care site where they saw pages of bulletins for different children who were waiting for their forever homes. The process from submitting their home study to panel interviews to committee reviews to decision making takes three to six months. Chantel and Nick went through this four different times before finally being chosen to be Gracie’s Mom and Dad. During the process of matching, a colleague suggested Chantel explore the company’s adoption resources – and she was delighted to see that U.S. Bank provides adoption reimbursement up to $10,000. 

Gracie Fiorante

“Going into adoption we knew we’d have to make a financial sacrifice and so we started saving for it, but what we didn’t know is that we’d only have nine days to get everything a one-year-old needs,” she said. “So, when I shared with Nick that U.S. Bank would reimburse us, it was a huge weight lifted. It allowed us to focus our energy on our girl and less on the finances - a true blessing and moment of joy.” 

Oregon Branch Banking Market Leader Seth Tindall said, “Chantel and I had many conversations about her and Nick’s desires to expand their family. Once she moved to the adoption phase, I had briefly read about the adoption benefits and shared with her because, while finances were not a problem, I also didn’t want her to see the expenses as an obstacle to achieving her overall dream of expanding her family. Being a leader, you have a responsibility to help people understand what options they have and how the full benefits packages can help them thrive both at work and home.”

Chantel explained that last Thanksgiving, upon finalizing their adoption with Gracie and receiving her new birth certificate, when she applied for the $10,000 reimbursement from U.S. Bank she had another pleasant surprise: the company provides three months of paid leave for adoptive parents. Since 2019, more than 100 employees have received funds through our adoption & surrogacy assistance reimbursement program.

“I was able to spend those precious months building a strong attachment with Gracie,” she said. “They were the best months and most memorable of my life so far. I’m forever thankful that U.S. Bank provides in this way.” 

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