A Plain English Guide To British Employment Law

Adoption Leave

What is adoption leave?

If you’re an employee and decide to take time off to adopt a child or have a child through a surrogacy arrangement you may be entitled to a mixture of:

Parents adopting a child are also entitled to time off work to attend adoption appointments.

Statutory adoption leave can start either: (i) from the date the child starts living with the employee or (ii) up to 14 days before the date the child is expected to start living with the employee.

Am I eligible for adoption leave?

You must be employed in your current job:

  • when you’re told you’re matched with your adopted child
  • on the date your child enters Great Britain (if you’re adopting from overseas)

You must also be one of the following:

  • the child’s adopter
  • the husband or partner (including civil partnerships) of the child’s adopter

What is adoption pay?

Statutory Adoption Pay is paid for up to 39 weeks. The weekly amount is:

  • 90% of your average weekly earnings for the first 6 weeks
  • £139.58 or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks

Can I get adoption leave if my child has a surrogate parent?

Parents who have a child through surrogacy are entitled to ordinary paternity leave and pay, adoption leave and pay and shared parental leave and pay. They can also take unpaid time off to attend two antenatal appointments with the surrogate parent.

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