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To think people on adoption leave should get the same benefits as those on maternity leave?

(122 Posts)
Rufus27 Fri 28-Apr-17 11:48:04

I'm currently on adoption leave with a young baby. Went to collect a prescription for myself today. The pharmacist immediately said, 'it's free as you're on maternity leave and he's under one'. I explained he was adopted and she rather apologetically explained that in that case, I'd have to pay.

I'm taking slightly longer leave on social worker's recommendation as DS is delayed developmentally and obviously we need as much time together as possible to build a secure attachment. Therefore our finances are currently significantly reduced.

AIBU to think that adoptive parents on leave should qualify for the same 'health benefits' (if that's the right term?) as people on maternity leave? As someone who needs fairly regular prescriptions, even with an advanced payment card, the cost quickly adds up.

I know it may sound petty - I was in two minds even to post this - but it feels like yet another example of the system working against adoptive parents. I lost count of the number of days of unpaid leave I had to take due to compulsory adoption training days, adoption panel etc. yet colleagues who are pregnant had paid leave for scans, appointments etc. In fact, some colleagues even questioned why I even needed adoption leave at all (not like I'd given birth, after all).

Cakescakescakes Fri 28-Apr-17 11:49:24

I agree with you totally. Best of luck with your new family smile

Meeshel29 Fri 28-Apr-17 11:50:35

You shouldn't have said anything. Nothing to do with her.

missanony Fri 28-Apr-17 11:50:49

Yanbu. I'm really surprised that it isn't the same, in my ignorance I'd have assumed that you would.

hmm shock at your colleagues comments!

sailorcherries Fri 28-Apr-17 11:51:07

I agree. Becoming a parent is a huge shift in family and financial life regardless of whether you gave birth or not.

Judashascomeintosomemoney Fri 28-Apr-17 11:51:28

Yanbu! And congratulations on your new ds' addition to your family !

JustHereForThePooStories Fri 28-Apr-17 11:51:47

No advice as I'm not in the UK and, where I live, there's equal rights for new parents, despite whether they became parents through birth, adoption, or surrogacy.

Just wanted to wish you and your DS all the best.

UppityHumpty Fri 28-Apr-17 11:52:55

The purpose of the prescription benefits is not for the child, but for the mother. Child birth is a traumatic experience and it's to ensure women don't neglect their health needs for the sake of money.

ThatsWotSheSaid Fri 28-Apr-17 11:52:56

Start a petition on change. I don't think many people know about it.

ChilliMum Fri 28-Apr-17 11:53:44

I had no idea that the system differentiated that's awful, it certainly isn't petty!
YADNBU, our systems are outdated. It should be parental leave for all regardless of sex and how we prepare for or come to be parents.

Chavelita Fri 28-Apr-17 11:55:27

Of course yanbu. And some adoption leaves where people are learning therapeutic parenting with traumatised children make the average maternity leave (assuming a healthy mother and child and no additional needs or PND, obviously) seem like a walk in the park, especially when post-adoption support fails to materialise. Generalising, obviously.

Hope it's going well for you, and congratulations!

TeenAndTween Fri 28-Apr-17 11:56:24

I'm in 2 minds on the prescriptions issue. Are free prescriptions to mothers under 1 due to low income, or due to helping the mother's health recover after carrying a baby? (Not a rhetorical question).

However regarding time off for SW appointments, and adoption pay I am entirely with you. When we adopted we were lucky that our employer was flexible with working hours so we could meet with our SW, and we also talked our employer into reviewing their adoption pay policy.

G1ggleloop Fri 28-Apr-17 11:56:31

I agree it should be equal. I was luck enough to be granted special paid leave for my appointments but they were keen for us to schedule them outside of work hours (we work shifts). I had people question why we needed adoption leave as well. People are just clueless

Chattymummyhere Fri 28-Apr-17 11:56:45

It all because the free prescriptions are for issues that happen due to being pregnant or just given birth. It's to make sure pregnant women/women who have just given birth don't neglect thenselfs after all the changes happening/have happened. Being pregnant gets you free dental because pregnancy has an affect on that it's easier to give all pregnant women free prescriptions than to just pick and choose each item to give for free.

Congratulations on the adoption.

mogloveseggs Fri 28-Apr-17 11:57:47

Yanbu. That's really unfair. As a pp said it shouldn't matter how you become a parent.
Congratulations btw flowers

AndNowItIsSeven Fri 28-Apr-17 11:58:58

Sorry yabu the free prescriptions are for health reasons relating to pregnancy and birth.

Biffa44 Fri 28-Apr-17 11:59:24

Why did the pharmacist think you were on maternity leave? How did she know you were on any sort of leave?
Women who are pregnant (or who have had a baby in the last 12 months) are entitled to free prescriptions, they are not entitled because they are on maternity leave so therefore, no, adoptive parents should not be entitled to free healthcare because they are on adoption leave.

If your income has been affected because of your situation, you can apply for help with health costs through the NHS Low Income Scheme.

I am an adoptive parent and I was given paid time off for all pre-adoption meetings etc. maybe I was just lucky, but I had assumed that this was normal. That people you work with don't think you need adoption leave is bonkers.

stitchglitched Fri 28-Apr-17 12:00:01

I thought free prescriptions were for health issues that can occur due to pregnancy and childbirth specifically?

monkeytoad35 Fri 28-Apr-17 12:00:13

I absolutely agree with you. YADNBU. I too am on adoption leave and I Googled this assuming we would also be entitled to this but no. I also think it's unfair how adoptive mums are not eligible for 1 years free dentist either. Make a petition on Change and I'll be the first to sign it!

Justanothernameonthepage Fri 28-Apr-17 12:01:12

I thought the medical prescription was to cut down on new mothers suffering through illness/dental issues caused by pregnancy. But you should be entitled to parental leave.

maybeshesawomble Fri 28-Apr-17 12:01:34

Absolutely YANBU! It is for help when not working, not conditions relating to pregnancy and birth. If that was the case free prescriptions would only be for pregnancy/birth associated conditions, not anything confused

ClaraLane Fri 28-Apr-17 12:01:41

In the NHS our adoption leave policy is identical to the maternity leave policy which I think is the fairest way to do things.

Re. prescriptions though I think you're being a little unreasonable. The free prescriptions are there to help the health of the mother during and after the pregnancy - in my case antidepressants and antisickness tablets. If people need free prescriptions due to a lower income then I think they're covered regardless of whether they're pregnant therefore this would apply to you if you meet the earnings criteria.

Louiselouie0890 Fri 28-Apr-17 12:01:46

I think the prescription thing is more so mothers look after themselves rather than to help financially especially with all the complications after giving birth so I'm in two minds.
As for time off absolutely it should be the same.

Ariawyn Fri 28-Apr-17 12:04:12

tough one, but i think like pps have said, its for the mother with physical changes, which you havent gone through

(from nhs)
A prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) lets you get as many NHS prescriptions as you need for a set price. If you regularly pay prescription charges, a PPC could save you money.
The current prescription charge in England is £8.60 per item. A PPC costs:
£29.10 for 3 months

£104 for 12 months

Doesnt the child still get free prescriptions? under 16?

congrats on your new addition x

wizzywig Fri 28-Apr-17 12:05:16

I didnt know it wasnt the same. It should be.

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