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My Benefits | I am Adopting a Child

I am Adopting a Child

The following web page answers questions employees may have about adopting a child. This page supports Academic Administrators, Faculty, Institutional Officials, Merit AFSCME, Merit Confidential & Merit Supervisory and P&S employees who are currently employed at the university.


4-6 Months Prior

  • Create a checklist of items that might need changed when you adopt a child, the following items could be considered:
    • Health, dental, and vision insurance
    • Life insurance beneficiaries
    • Health Care or Dependent Care Flex Spending
    • Voluntary Term Life (VTL)
    • Emergency contacts
    • Tax forms
  • For more information on: health, dental, and vision coverage, voluntary term life and accidental death & dismemberment, flex spending, and beneficiaries, please see the detailed sections below.

2-4 Months Prior

  • Review all insurance plans that you might be eligible for to determine what plan works best for you and your family.
  • Will you need to consider a new plan, or newly enroll into UNI health, dental and/or vision plans? To see what plan would work best for you and your family please visit our website.
  • If you choose to enroll/change in a UNI plan, did you consider signing up for the Health & Dental Pre-tax Option or the flexible spending plans for health care or dependent care. The Health & Dental Pre-tax Option will allow your premiums to be paid pre-tax instead of post-tax. The Health Care Flex Spending Account (FSA) will use pre-tax dollars to pay for co-pays, coinsurance, and deductible charges from your health, dental, and vision plans. The Dependent Care FSA will use pre-tax dollars to pay for daycare costs.
  • Review optional Voluntary Term Life Insurance coverage. You may increase, decrease, or remove the coverage due to the adoption.
  • Review your current beneficiaries. Will they need to be updated once you have a baby?
  • Consider your Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) rights and eligibility. If eligible, apply and work with the Employee Leave Coordinator for a successful leave.

1 Month Prior

  • When you have decided which plans you and your family would like to enroll in, plan ahead and find out what the enrollment process is.
  • If you decide to enroll into a plan through UNI you will need to provide the following documentation:
    • Adoption or legal guardianship decree, or
    • Letter of placement by an adoption agency

1 Week After

  • You should start making changes, if needed, to the topics that were covered above. Once you have the necessary documentation you will be ready to make your benefit and/or name changes. Please remember that you have 60 days (from the time of the adoption life event) to make these changes.
  • You may also need to update your tax information. This can be done by logging into eBusiness Suite and selecting W-4 Form Employee Withholding Allowances under the UNI Employee Self Service link.

Health, Dental, & Vision Coverage

You can enroll in coverage or add dependents to your healthdental, and vision plans within 60 days of adopting a child. You may also change from one plan option to another, and only the dependents that are affected by the event may be added. Coverage will be effective the date in which the adoption is finalized. If making a plan change or enrolling for the first time, the coverage for the employee and any other covered family members will retro date back to the first of the month in which the adoption happened. Any other changes to your plan must be made during the open enrollment period.

Employees may elect to pay their portion of the family health and/or dental insurance premiums with after-tax dollars instead of pre-tax. Enrollment in this option will result in higher Federal and State Income Tax and Social Security and Medicare Tax withholding and therefore less take-home pay. Participation begins when your first health and/or dental insurance premium is deducted from your payroll, providing you enroll at the same time you enroll in the insurance plan(s). You have 30 days from the date of employment to enroll in the option, but if you delay enrollment beyond the time you enroll in the insurance plan(s), the first premium deduction may not be made after-tax.

To make a change due to a life event, please use Benefits Self-Service System.

Benefits Self-Service Login

Voluntary Term Life Insurance and Accidental Death & Dismemberment

You may enroll or increase the amount of your Voluntary Term Life Insurance (VTL) and Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance for yourself, your spouse, and your children. Spouse and child coverage cannot exceed 100% of your coverage. If elected, this coverage would be in addition to the university provided life insurance, and you pay the full cost of the premium with after-tax dollars through monthly payroll deduction. If you are not already enrolled in VTL proof of good health will be required.

The monthly premiums vary based on the age of the applicant and the coverage chosen. For more information on the premiums and coverage amounts, view the Benefits-At-A-Glance informational handout.

To enroll in or increase coverage please use the Benefits Self-Service System.

Flex Spending – Health Care and Dependent Care

If you need to make a change or enroll in health care or dependent care flex spending due to a qualifying life event, you can enroll online through Benefits Self-Service System. Your deductions will start the month after the election is made but you are able to submit claims from the date of the adoption.


If you need to update your life insurance beneficiaries due to a qualifying life event, you can update group life insurance beneficiaries on Benefits Self-Service System or a VTL Beneficiary Designation Change Form.

For IPERS beneficiaries, please fill out the IPERS Enrollment and Beneficiary Designation form and submit to IPERS at the address on the form.

To update your TIAA beneficiaries please log onto the TIAA website and update your beneficiaries accordingly.

Paid time off

  • Adoption Leave
    Faculty and Staff may use up to 40 hours of sick leave per occurrence during adoption. This time should be recorded as adoption leave (or sick leave) on the employee's monthly time card.
  • Vacation
    Staff members may use vacation to remain in paid status due to leave during adoption.

Note:Faculty do not accrue vacation.

If you have additional questions, please contact Human Resource Services at 319-273-2423 or email your inquiry to and a member of the Benefits team will respond.