3 Families Who Did It, and How You Can Follow in their Footsteps
Getting through the adoption process can be a challenge for most families. With so much to do — like preparing for your home study, building your adoption profile and readying your home for a child — it’s easy to get burnt out. And that’s without taking into account everything that’s needed for life after adoption.
After finally completing the adoption of their dreams, many families understandably want some time away from their work responsibilities. Getting to know the newest member of their family is a special occasion that should be cherished for a lifetime. You’ll be experiencing a lot of firsts when your child enters your life, so it only makes sense that you want to spend as much time with them as possible.
But you probably have plenty of questions about your rights to do so as an adoptive family — specifically, when it comes to taking paid time off after the arrival of your child.
Adoption benefits and parental leave make a world of difference when it comes to adjusting to life after placement. If you want to learn more about what rights you have, this guide will help you do just that, starting with stories from other families who have been in your shoes.
Adoptive Families Just Like You
All new parents should be provided leave from their daily responsibilities to bond with their child. But some — like ignorant friends, family and coworkers — don’t place as much, if any, value on the time adoptive parents need to adjust.
If you keep getting met with blank stares when advocating for your rights, remember that you’re not alone. Many adoptive families are sick of hearing the idea that adoptive parents don’t “deserve” as much leave as biological parents — when that’s absolutely not true.
Opinions about the rights of adoptive parents are changing, albeit very slowly. If you want to advocate for your rights, here are three families who can give you some inspiration on moving forward.
- Maternity Leave Did Not Apply To Me As An Adoptive Mother: Deciding to build a family through adoption isn’t easy. But, for Meg, advocating for her rights as a new mother was harder than she ever anticipated. In this post, she details what it was like to fight for the right to take even unpaid leave and the ensuing result of that decision. If her situation sounds all too similar to yours, start here.
- Less Parental Leave for Adoptive Families is Discriminatory: Having to fight for paid family leave in the first place can be extremely disheartening. In this article, Andrea talks about the parental rights of adoptive vs. biological parents. If you’re feeling discouraged about the lack of adoption benefits in your situation, read her story to learn more.
- Adoptive Parents Must Have Paid Parental Leave Too: Becoming a new parent is, as Rachel knows all too well, simply exhausting. While you might not want to change anything that led to your beautiful family, you might also feel like you’re juggling an endless amount of work. If you’re tired of feeling like your family leave isn’t a priority, find out what Rachel has to say about the state of FMLA for adoptive parents here.
3 Tips for Advocating for Your Rights
Unfortunately, advocating for the rights of adoptive parents isn’t an overnight process. There’s a lot of work to be done, so don’t get discouraged if your employer isn’t as understanding as you would like them to be. Not everyone is as familiar with adoption as you, but as long as they’re learning, they still have room to grow.
In the meantime, we’ve come up with a few tips for advocating for your parental rights.
- Contact your Human Resources department: It can be uncomfortable, but speaking to your employer is a great first step. They can give you even more tips and resources about what rights are available at their company.
- Spread the word in your community: If you live in a large community, you can start by spreading the word in your neighborhood. The more people that know about what you’re going through, the more they can help. Don’t be afraid to let them know different ways they can assist your campaign.
- Share your story on social media: There are adoptive families all over the world who have been in your shoes. If you feel comfortable with the idea, why not share your experience online? You might connect with more people than you imagined.
Navigating your adoption benefits and parental leave will be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. If you have any questions about the next steps, don’t worry. Your adoption specialist can help you get started. To learn more about adoptive parent rights, reach out to your specialist online today.