I'm an adoptive parent. What are my leave entitlements?

As an adoptive parent, your leave entitlements are:

  • 52 weeks’ adoption leave, 50 of which you can share with your partner as long as you both meet the eligibility requirements for Shared Parental Leave. Not all your adoption leave will be paid;
  • 18 weeks' parental leave, to be used at any time up to their 18th birthday; and
  • unpaid dependants’ leave, where appropriate.

Your partner may also qualify for ordinary paternity leave and unpaid parental leave.

You must be an employee to take adoption leave, shared parental leave, unpaid parental leave, dependants’ leave and paternity leave.

Prospective adopters also have the right to paid time off for up to five adoption appointments. Joint adopters can choose one person – the 'primary adopter' – to take paid time off for up to five appointments. The other prospective parent will qualify for unpaid time off for up to two appointments. This right is available to employees and also to agency workers after 12 weeks doing the same job for the same hirer.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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