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Adoption Maternity Leave

Adoption maternity leave gives you time to bond with your newly adopted child while you get needed rest while you both adjust to your new routine. While U.S. laws don't require paid maternity leave, there is a mandatory unpaid leave of up to twelve weeks for both you and your spouse. Here are the details.

The Family and Medical Leave Act

Recognizing that parents need time off to bond with their new children, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires companies to provide maternity leave both to parents who have children biologically and parents who build their families through adoption.

For those working for a company qualifying for FMLA leave, parents can get up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. This adoption maternity leave is available not only to mothers, but fathers as well.

The Details

If you work for a company that qualifies for FMLA leave, you can take unpaid leave to travel to pick up your newly adopted child, complete a home study or other requirements and spend time after you come back bonding with your child. Your employer can either allow you or require you to substitute your available paid leave for any part of your 12 FMLA weeks.

If you and your spouse work for the same company, you may only be limited to a combined total of twelve weeks. Your entitlement to FMLA leave expires at the end of a 12-month period starting on the date your child is placed in your home.


You must provide documentation proving that you are in the process of adopting a child. Generally certification from your adoption agency will work for this. In addition, you must give your company a 30 day notice of your plans to take unpaid leave.

When You Won't Qualify

Companies with less than 50 employees are excluded from the FMLA. Also, if you have been with your company for less than 12 months or if your income accounts for the top ten percent of wages, you might not qualify for FMLA adoption maternity leave.

Learn More

You can learn more about the Family and Medical Leave Act by clicking here.

More Tips on Bringing Your Child Home

Finances are the number one reason many couples don't pursue their dream of adopting a child, but it doesn't have to stop you from adopting. We were able to adopt our three children without going into debt. You can too. Learn more.

Learn how to get ready to bring your child home by clicking here.

Before you know it, you'll be getting that call saying you can travel to pick up your child. Learn how you can prepare for it now by clicking here.

If you plan on adopting small children, be sure to include a fun travel kit to keep your little ones occupied. Learn how to make a travel kit by clicking here.

That adoption trip home with your new children can be a great bonding time if you make it fun. Here's how.

Are you getting ready to travel to bring your toddler home? Then you won't want to miss these important tips.

While waiting for the green light to pick up your child, it's easy to become discouraged and depressed, especially if you have a long wait. Learn ways to deal with the discouragement by clicking here.

Learning the language of your child's native country is a huge plus. Not only does it help you while you travel, but you will also bond more quickly with your child. Learn more.

Taking a few simple steps will help make traveling home with your child smoother. Learn more.

You may be legally qualified to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave once your bring your newly adopted child. Read more.

Learn to negotiate for extra maternity leave. Learn how.

Return from Adoption Maternity Leave to the Home Page.

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