Federal Family and Medical Leave Act

Many adoptive families are concerned about adoption maternity leave or paternity leave. First, because they need to plan to stay in the state where their child is born for an average of 7 to 10 business days to comply with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC). And second, because they understandably desire additional adoption maternity or paternity time with their child when they get to bring him or her home.

While most employers recognize adoption maternity leave just as they would for a pregnant employee, there is a federal act that helps ensure that you get to enjoy your first weeks with your little one, away from the workplace.

Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, first passed in 1993, unpaid leave is available for adoptive families. FMLA allows individuals, working for qualified employers, to take up to 12 weeks of leave from work. Although this time is unpaid, you will receive benefits and will not jeopardize your employment.

Leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act is not only an adoption benefit, as it is available to anyone who works for a company with 50 or more employees. However, it is a wonderful resource for new adoptive families to take time off work for adoption during ICPC and their first few weeks home with their child.

Some states have specific Family and Medical Leave Laws and require employers to offer their workers a minimum amount of parental leave time. Read about federal vs. state Family and Medical Leave laws at the Department of Labor site.

To learn more about the federal Family and Medical Leave act, visit the Department of Labor.





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