Time taken off from work by a mother or father to care for a child.
Because adopting parents often receive very little notice that a child is available-perhaps only a few days-it's impossible for employees to give their employers even two weeks notice about an impending leave. Consequently, adoption leave may be perceived negatively by employers. In the past whether parental leave was granted or not depended on state laws and corporate policies. Only 13 states mandated some form of personal leave in 1989. The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 changed this. The FMLA mandates an unpaid leave of up to 12 weeks for employees working at companies employing more than 50 workers. The FMLA specifically includes adoptive parents in the law.
The reason most adopting parents are given very little notice by agencies is that the agencies don't want to tell prospective adoptive parents about a child until all the appropriate papers are signed in case the birthmother changes her mind.
One tactic a prospective adoptive parent can employ if she or he wishes to take paid parental leave is to simply ask for an exception or to prepare information on his or her value to the company and attempt to convince the employer that because the adopting parent is so valuable, an exception should be made in her or his case. Exceptions to the rule are generally far easier to obtain than changing the rule itself-no matter how desirable it would be to change that rule. (See also EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS; INSURANCE.)
Find more information on parental leave
©2000 by Christine Adamec and William Pierce, Ph.D. Reprinted from The Encyclopedia of Adoption, 2nd Edition (2nd Edition) with permission of Facts On File, Inc.
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