COLUMBUS, Ohio, Sept. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- For the seventh consecutive year, American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) has been named one of the most adoption-friendly workplaces by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. AEP reimburses employees up to $3,000 per child for eligible adoption-related expenses and provides up to 40 hours of paid leave for new adoptive parents. Since early 2007, AEP has assisted its employees with 72 adoptions. "We recognize the value of offering family-friendly programs to our employees and understand the positive impact that adoption can have on our employees, the community, and most importantly, the lives of children," said Curt Cooper, AEP's director of employee benefits. "It is an honor to receive the Dave Thomas Foundation award for the seventh straight year." Information from employers nationwide was used to compile the foundation's annual rankings of adoption-friendly workplaces. The rankings are based on the maximum amount of financial reimbursement and paid leave per adoption. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is a non-profit, public charity dedicated to dramatically increasing adoptions of the more than 134,000 children in North America's foster care systems. The late Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's Restaurants and an adopted child, created the foundation in 1992. More information is available at http://www.davethomasfoundation.org/. American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5.3 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation's largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation's largest electricity transmission system, a 40,000-mile network that includes more 765 kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP's transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP's utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP's headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.