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Sat Feb 10 2024

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How to Ask Maternity Leave for Adoption of a Child?

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maternity leave for adoption of a child

Adoption has always been a challenge for its requirement of higher standards, from strict age groups and financial needs to their health, marital status, sexual orientation, and more. In America, 75% of families ensure an adoption within 1 to 24 months after activation, whereas international adoptions may take between 24 to 48 months on average, and adoption from the foster care system takes 4 to 12 months. There is much more importance of maternity leave for adoption these days in spite of your geographical location.(Source). Most families want to take a break at the end of this process. Here are a few questions from adoptive parents:

  • Can I get maternity leave for adoption?
  • Is there an opportunity for adoption leave for fathers?
  • How much is the chance of my adoption leave from work being sanctioned?
  • How long will I get maternity leave in case of adoption?

This guide will explain the adoption process, how to apply for it, and a few more pieces of information for your help.

Do I Get Maternity Leave for Adoption?

Yes, you must get maternity leave for adoption, but the rule may not be the same for all companies in the United States or in the rest of the world.

Adoption leaves are the paid or unpaid leaves offered to adoptive parents working in an organization to complete the adoption process efficiently and get acquainted with their parental duties.

In America, only 13% of workers under private sector employers get access to paid leave, and even there can be adoption leave for fathers. And 60% of the workforce under the federal Family Medical Leave Act gives the right to 12 weeks of paid adoption leave from work.

Under Title 5 of The Federal Employee Paid Leave Act (FEPLA), a federal employee can get paid parental leave in connection to the qualifying birth of a child or adopt a child. The Family and Medical Leave Act provisions under Title 5, United States Code provide the provision of maternity leave for the adoption or birth of a child occurring on or after October 1, 2020.

Similarly, in India, under The Maternity Benefit Act 1961, It will be granted for 12 weeks only if the adopted child is three months old or less. But, there is no adoption leave for fathers as per Indian legislation. However, different companies have their adoption leave policies, which you must learn before joining them. Learn how to write a professional sick leave email in our latest blog post on workplace communication.

Why do Adoptive Parents Need Maternity Leave for Adoption?

In most countries, females are eligible for compulsory adoption leave, but fathers may also need a leave for child adoption.

When a couple adopts a child, it becomes the responsibility of both partners to raise the child, and therefore, adoption leave for fathers must be granted by companies. It is not an issue for single parents if women are adopting, but the problem is when a man adopts a child singly.

Here are a few reasons why adoptive parents need parental leave:

Children need time for bonding

Babies are born dependent on their parents and need time to develop strong bonds. Adopted children haven't heard the voice and laughs of their parents for nine months, and therefore this period is very important for them to create bonds by spending more time with their parents. It impacts the long-term mental health of a child and develops a feeling of stability. Parents desire to spend more time with their children because maternity leave for adoption plays a crucial role. 

Parents need to develop a new routine

Adoptive parents need time to adjust their schedule with the new responsibilities of managing their child and all associated changes. Plus, it gives kids time to adjust to their parents. Developing a new routine and rhythm with a child can minimize their anxiety and stress and make them feel secure in your presence.

Making necessary arrangements for childcare

Adoptions are lengthy processes, but they can get sanctioned at the last minute, and parents cannot make necessary childcare arrangements in such a short period. During the maternity leave for adoption, they can look for the right person to leave their child with while they work at the office.

Companies offering paid sending clear messages that they care about the health, well-being, and quality of life of adoptive parents and families, empowering their business.

Check out our blog post on how to request to leave work early on your tiring days for helpful tips and advice.

How to Apply for Maternity Leave for Adoption?

While applying for maternity leave for adoption, you need to learn about the adoption leave policy in your company. As there is no rigid legal provision for adoption leave policy, your company may or may not approve leave, or the number of leave days may vary, or it can be a paid/unpaid leave, depending on their policy.

Before you submit an adoption leave letter, ask your HR or check out the company's website and employee portals to learn more about the company's policy for adoptive parents.

Next, you should get in touch with the manager and inform them in person about your maternity leave prior to submission of the letter. You can also discuss how to delegate your responsibilities so that work is not compromised in your absence.

You can consult 1-2 members of your team to take over your pending works, hand over any necessary documents, and make them understand your working procedure and anything that is important to know.

Finally, before submitting the application, make sure you mark all the relevant people in the mail trail and keep them informed about your plans. It may include your team leads or supervisors, human resource executives, reporting managers, and your team.

Make sure you include all the vital information in the leave letter. The subject line must share your intention for the leave. Don't forget to mention the duration of the leave in your mail and the names of the people substituting you during that period. Learn how to call in sick to work professionally and effectively in our latest blog post on workplace communication.


It is important for employees to look into the company's policy before they sign up a working agreement. If no maternity leave for adoption facility is available under the policy, you cannot apply for one or may end up getting terminated by the manager. Similarly, it is the duty of every company to draft their policy carefully and ensure they value each employee in the organization to retain talents for longer periods.


1. Can adopting parents take parental leave?

Yes, adopting parents can take parental leave; however, it depends on the company's policy.

2. Can I adopt a baby while pregnant?

You can prepare for adoption anytime during the pregnancy, but it won't be completed until your baby is born.

3. Who is eligible for maternity leave?

Women giving birth to a child have the right to get maternity leave; however, several companies around the world now offer maternity leave for adoption to parents depending on their company regulations.