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Figuring out adoption leave

14 replies

KumquatMay · 18/01/2016 11:56

Hi all
DH and I are currently trying to work out what leave he will be entitled to once children are placed with us. I'm aware that there's plenty of info on t'internet, but I'm finding it hard to navigate so wondered if anyone could help?
DH is in FT employment Mon-Fri, no (paid) overtime etc and is definitely eligible for leave (been with his employer a few years). I am not employed and therefore not taking leave from anywhere, and will be the children's primary carer. Am I right in thinking that DH is entitled to the standard adoption leave of 6 weeks paid at 90% and a further 33 weeks at the statutory rate?
Is this affected at all by a) the fact that I am not employed or b) that fact that I am the primary adopter on the paperwork?
Also, if anyone knows of a number to call where I can get this confirmed that would be really helpful - we'd like to have all the facts before speaking to DH's boss!

OP posts:
mybloodykitchen · 18/01/2016 13:15

If you're not employed I think he gets 2 weeks. I think the rules have only changed where both parents are employed. Let me know if you find out otherwise though as Dh is owed big time...

mybloodykitchen · 18/01/2016 13:18
mybloodykitchen · 18/01/2016 13:24

Sorry - that's probably a bit of a bucket of cold water on your plans. Sad

KumquatMay · 18/01/2016 13:29

That's ok, we're just trying to figure it out. I guess the question is how is pat. leave different from adoption leave? The adoption leave info says only one person can take adoption leave (which in this case would be DH) but doesn't say anything about it it only being available if both partners are working.

OP posts:
FuckedOffMum · 18/01/2016 15:31

I don't work and as a result DH was able to take 'full' adoption leave from his 9-5, full time job. He had to say he was the primary adopter on the forms but other than that, there were no problems. Smile

mybloodykitchen · 18/01/2016 16:01

As in more than 2 weeks?

I stand corrected then! ☺

mybloodykitchen · 18/01/2016 16:03

That's a weirdly chortley emoticon. She's just supposed to be smiling...

FuckedOffMum · 18/01/2016 16:34

Yeah, he had a year off. I'm not sure if it's specific to his employer, or whether it's something everyone is entitled to, but I would definitely try to get it if you can, Kumquat. It's one of the adoption perks!

Kitchen - I think she's a very cheery face, the kind that belongs to a rotund woman in a pinny. Grin

mybloodykitchen · 18/01/2016 17:09

Pam Ferris in Darling Buds, that kind of thing. That's what I was afraid of...

FuckedOffMum · 18/01/2016 18:06

Yes, that's it exactly! I don't picture you like that though.... I reckon you're more supermodel like, much like myself. Wink

Jidgetbones · 18/01/2016 19:06

I think adoption leave is different to mat/pat leave, in that either gender can take the lot. So, yes, my interpretation is in your case, it's best to claim he's the primary adopter, and get him to take as much leave as you can afford, too!

I don't like this idea of naming a primary parent, anyway, as surely it's an equal partnership in a lot of cases.

KumquatMay · 18/01/2016 20:37

Thanks, FuckedOff and Jidget, that's really helpful. The primary/secondary adopter thing was confusing us, but the 'primary adopter' in relation to leave seems to be the person who's claiming the largest chunk of leave, not necessarily the one who will be giving the primary care in the long term. So as long as both of us aren't claiming it, it doesn't seem to matter who exactly does. I'm delighted to hear he can get 6 weeks at 90% and I'm now trying to figure out whether we can make it stretch and he can stay off longer!

OP posts:
mybloodykitchen · 18/01/2016 22:02

Fuckedoffmum :)

Glad to hear you get more bonding time op.

Italiangreyhound · 19/01/2016 01:16

Jidgetbones re I don't like this idea of naming a primary parent, anyway, as surely it's an equal partnership in a lot of cases.

I think the legal side of which parent takes more/the most time off is a legal issue but generally my experience of parenting is that it is not 'equal' in terms of time. I've experienced this with both my birth child and adopted child and I only personally know of one couple who literally shared equal parenting time. So for me, my dh worked full time and I had a year of adoption leave off from my part time job, and now work part-time, with our adopted child (and 8 month maternity leave with our birth dd previously).

Where I think this is more relevant with adopted children is that they sometimes bond more with one parent first, and then through that connection they can bond with the other parent. We were told about this and I can certainly say have experienced this with our son (now 5, we've known him almost two years).

In our son's case he was more attached to his birth mum than birth dad, and more attached to the female foster carer of the couple and then I had the time off with him so it seems quite easy to understand why he would attach to me first.

It has meant that we need to consciously share out care when dh is around because, for example, my son will often ask for me to do the story and bath. In the early days we did allow him to chose what made him comfortable but then we started to say dh woudl do it as he had not seen ds all day! It can be quite hard for both parents when the child has a preference (I know because my birth dd had a preference for daddy when she was younger, but she kind of grew out of it). I think with newly adopted children it has to be handled carefully because it's not as straight forward always as 50%/50%, but of course if people have found it is straight forward for them then that is great.

For other children things may be totally different.

I am saying this because I think it can explain why social services like parents to nominate who will be the primary carer. I think in the OP's case things may be different if they are both around equal amounts of time, but as I say I have not experienced this. (In general as I know tons of parents where mum is at home more than dad, one family where dad is around more than mum and one family where they did genuinely share care of the kids 50%/50%.)

Good luck KumquatMay hope the adoption leave all works out well.

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