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Best Buy assists employees with adoptions and surrogacy in new program

The program is available for full-time employees who have served longer than six months.

MOUND, Minnesota — For same-sex couples, it was only four years ago that they could get married, have children, and have their family recognized by the government.

Now in 2019, corporations like Best Buy are not only celebrating all sorts of families, but they're helping them grow too.

For Keegan Shoutz and Paul Schroepfer, a life full of baby girl onesies and itty-bitty shoes wasn't always in the books. 

"I think we always hoped that we would be here at some point-- dog, kid, house-- all that good stuff," Shoutz said. "But honestly, when we first got together, we couldn't even legally get married."

The times, have changed. For the couple, when the doors finally opened, life progressed at its usual speed.

"We've been together nine years and I don't feel rushed in any of this because we had time to really think," Schroepfer said. "Like is this what we want? do we want a child? Do we want to adopt? Everything came naturally."

Enter Poppy Fay Schroepfer-Shoutz, five weeks earlier than expected, but happy as a baby can be.

"She was born, we were there, we were the first ones to change her diaper, first ones to feed her," Schroepfer said. 

This picture-perfect household was years in the making. Adoption for them, as it is for many families, wasn't easy or quick. They waited three years from the day they first asked about an adoption possibility. Throughout the process, they had the nursery on standby for a year.

"It definitely sat empty for a good year I would say," Shoutz said. "A crib with all the things in it, but no baby. But we're glad she's finally here to be there."

Shoutz said it was also helpful that his workplace Best Buy was able to provide some relief from their adoption-related fees. The company's new program helps financially with adoption and surrogacy for its full-time employees who have been with the company for a minimum of six months.

"It's not something that we expected, definitely appreciated it though," Shoutz said. "Having that gift coming from a company that also isn't just money, but it also shows they acknowledge our family and the way we're going about building our family. Having that piece of it has been a huge thing for us and makes us feel really good."

Now, nine years after they first set eyes on each other, Shoutz and Schroepfer have fallen head-over-heels all over again. This time though, for a little girl who completed this family. 

"We got so lucky, she's so adorable," Schroepfer said. "We couldn't love her any more. Every morning we wake up and we say, 'yup, she's still here! It's actually true! We love you so much.'"

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