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Do you get time off work when you adopt?


Spending that precious time with your child is priceless (Picture: Getty)

Adopting a child, for many, is the final piece of the puzzle, completing your family unit.

Becoming an adoptive parent comes with the same highs and lows of biological parenting – sleepless nights, unconditional love, stress, lifelong memories.

But adoptive parents do need to cover a bit more paperwork – understanding their rights, working out how a partner can become legal parent too and working out what differences there might be when it comes to taking leave from work.

What leave are adoptive parents entitled to from their jobs?

What time off are you entitled to after adopting a child?

Statutory Adoption Leave is the same as maternity leave – 52 weeks.

What this means is your employer, by law, must give you at least 52 weeks of leave if you qualify for adoption leave.

Only one parent is entitled to full Statutory Adoption Leave (Picture: Getty)

To be eligible for adoption leave, you must first be:

  • adopting a child
  • fostering a child permanently and becoming their legal parent (‘fostering to adopt’)

An employer must give you Statutory Adoption Leave if:

  • you are legally classed as an employee
  • you told your employer and gave them the correct notice
  • gave proof that you’re adopting or fostering to adopt, if your employer asks for it

You’re not legally entitled to take adoption leave for a private adoption, for example, if you’re adopting or fostering to adopt a relative but your employer might offer this at their discretion.

It’s always best to discuss directly with your HR representative or union rep.

What paid leave can I get after an adoption?

Statutory Adoption Pay is paid for up to 39 weeks, the same as maternity leave. The weekly amount is:

  • 90% of your average weekly earnings for the first 6 weeks
  • £151.97 or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks
All parents – adoptive or biological – are entitled to the same leave and pay, if they meet the necessary employment criteria (Picture: Getty)

If you’re adopting as part of a couple, only one of you can receive Statutory Adoption Pay.

What’s important to note is that eligibility for adoption pay can differ from eligibility for adoption leave.

To get Statutory Adoption Pay, you must:

  • be continuously employed by your employer for at least 26 weeks
  • earn at least £120 a week, before tax, for at least 8 weeks before the week you’re matched with a child
  • tell your employer and give them the correct notice
  • give proof you’re adopting, or fostering to adopt

If you’re not eligible for Statutory Adoption Pay, you may still qualify for adoption leave without pay.

This could be up to your employer’s discretion – always discuss your personal circumstances with your HR team or union reps.


MORE :
Adoptees of all ages reveal what being adopted means to them


MORE : What it’s like taking in a child who could be returned to their birth family at any point

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Adoption Month

Adoption Month is a month-long series covering all aspects of adoption.

For the next four weeks, which includes National Adoption Week from October 14-19, we will be speaking to people who have been affected by adoption in some way, from those who chose to welcome someone else’s child into their family to others who were that child.

We’ll also be talking to experts in the field and answering as many questions as possible associated with adoption, as well as offering invaluable advice along the way.

If you have a story to tell or want to share any of your own advice please do get in touch at adoptionstories@metro.co.uk.

Here is a selection of the stories from Adoption Month so far:





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