Working Mothers

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working mothers

Although the majority of mothers today are in the work force, many adoption agencies specify at least one parent must be willing to stay home with a newly adopted child for some length of time, ranging from weeks to months. Such acquiescence is a condition of application that is pointed out to prospective adoptive parents.

Which parent stays home isn't always specified, but because of economic disparities, the wife is usually the individual selected. In the case of a single parent adoption, the time frame may be cut back or eliminated altogether, since the income of the single parent is what will support the child.

Parental leave policies vary from company to company and attempts to create a national parental leave policy for new parents of biological and adoptive parents have been made in recent years by members of Congress. If a company does not have a paid parental leave policy or if the time allowed for leave is shorter than the adoption agency requires, the adoptive parent may have to take a leave without pay or quit work altogether.

Some adoptive parents have found it ironic and unfair that one is expected to leave work at least temporarily and insist extra income is needed more than ever to support a child. They also say biological parents are not required to stay home with a child and believe such arbitrary judgments are unfair.

Others believe it is important for at least one parent to spend an intensive period with the child to facilitate bonding. This is true even when the child is an older child, although it is less likely a lengthy period at home would be required in the adoption of a school-age child.

When agencies request input from birthmothers on the type of adoptive parents they are seeking, most birthmothers have stated their preference for a mother who is not employed outside the home. Their attitude is if they had opted to parent the child, they would have been forced to work. They believe a full-time mother is a better situation than they could provide.

A similar attitude is evinced by birthmothers who prefer couples over single parents. (See also ADOPTIVE PARENTS; BIRTHMOTHER; PARENTAL LEAVE.)

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