My feed

to access all these features

Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.


Time off for introductions

16 replies

beansonbread · 10/05/2019 04:51

My DH and I are going to approval panel in about a month's time and I'm starting to finalise our intended plans for leave.
My DH will be taking adoption leave for up to a year and I'll be taking paternity leave for two weeks with two/three weeks annual leave afterwards.
I've been looking through my work's policy for maternity/paternity/adoption and it appears that I'm only entitled to time off for two adoption meetings once we've been matched (I'm assuming to use as part of introductions?) - if introductions usually take 1-2 weeks am I expected to take annual leave for this? What is the norm?
Any advice would be really useful.

OP posts:
topcat2014 · 10/05/2019 06:52

Introductions are generally the start of adoption leave, as the child moves in at the conclusion of intros.

ifchocolatewerecelery · 10/05/2019 07:20

Hubby took 2 weeks paternity and 2 weeks annual leave. Introductions took 10 days so he wouldn't have been there to support at home and/or have much time to recover from the stress of introductions with out it. Am not sure if shared parental leave applies in adoption like birth but if it does you could take some of your partner's leave and shorten his by a couple of weeks to save your holiday if you wanted.

beansonbread · 10/05/2019 07:43

Thank you for your replies.

My husband gets 5 days for appointments after matching (as he's taking the adoption leave) which is much better than my 2. If I have to use my two weeks paternity to cover introductions it leaves no time in my own home with my child once intros are done which doesn't seem right.

Chocolate - did your husband's paternity cover the introductions or did that start after the intros?

Definitely worth looking into a bit of shared leave but ideally we want the first few weeks together which wouldn't happen if we shared any of the leave. I'll speak to my manager and see if there's anything she can suggest.

This is all totally new territory to me as for many years I'd assumed I'd be taking a years maternity following a pregnancy but obviously that's not happening.

OP posts:
ifchocolatewerecelery · 10/05/2019 08:17

Matching starts with introductions and you both have to be there so you'd have to take some kind of leave whether it's maternity, paternity, annual or unpaid. Hubby's employers are a nationwide firm and were very flexible giving paid time off for some meetings and some unpaid for training.

beansonbread · 10/05/2019 08:34

Thanks Chocolate.

My husband's company have been absolutely brilliant and have given him paid time off for all our appointments and training so far. If our positions were reversed (and I was taking adoption leave) they'd happily give him time for introductions in addition to his paternity but I don't think my work would do the same. My work are very much a by the books kind of company.

Looks like I'll be using my paternity leave or unpaid leave if that's an option for intros.

OP posts:
Dirtyjellycat · 10/05/2019 09:05

My DH only got 3 days paternity leave so had to use annual leave for everything else. Our intros were a week long so he took 2 days annual leave this week, and another week for the first week DS cane home. It wasn’t nearly long enough and I felt very scared and alone once he went back to work.

ViolentGin · 10/05/2019 12:26

Yep unfortunately the system really works against adopters, in the case of the "secondary adopter".

Have you considered shared Parental leave to give you an extra few weeks? My DH took 2 weeks of adoption leave to cover intros and the first few days at home, then I gave him 5 weeks of my adoption leave. Especially since he had used up most of his annual leave for appointments!

beansonbread · 10/05/2019 12:44

Dirty - only 3 days? Wow! That's really unfair. I'm not surprised you felt scared and alone when he returned to work. The system really isn't very fair.

Violent - I assumed that if you did shared parental leave that you would have to take the time as separate times. Is this not the case? If I can steal a couple weeks of his leave that would be awesome but we'd want to be off together, hopefully it works that way.

OP posts:
ViolentGin · 10/05/2019 13:27

You can absolutely run shared Parental leave parallel to each other to be off at the same time! Where it is still a relatively new policy I just dont think the details are well known.

My husband took 2 weeks paternity and then 5 weeks Shared, which I will be honest wasnt easy for us as our DS did not want DH, only me - so it bred a lot of resentment on both sides. As soon as DH went back to work it got easier and better. But if we could do it again I would still do at least 5 weeks (including intros) as initial bonding time, but 7 was just too long for us.

beansonbread · 10/05/2019 13:53

Thank you for the info. That's really useful to know about shared leave. We've got a meeting with our social worker tomorrow so I'll ask her a couple questions about it all and speak to my employers too.

OP posts:
thetom · 10/05/2019 17:47

I'm also planning on sharing a portion of my wife's adoption life to give us both time at home together at the start of the adoption. HR departments don't seem particularly well clued up to shared leave, especially in the case of adoption, but my understanding of the policy is that it's incredibly flexible. Definitely worth looking into.

UnderTheNameOfSanders · 10/05/2019 18:37

Depending on your line of work, and the age of the child, you may be able to go to work during some of the intros.

Our intros (siblings 8&2) took 4 weeks. But initially it was 2-4 hours at a stretch. So DH went into work before or after. As I was going to be main carer I did some days just with DD2 while DD1 stayed at school.

But otherwise, save annual leave, or be prepared to take unpaid.

Thepinklady77 · 10/05/2019 19:27

We looked into using shared parental leave at the beginning but in our case it was easier for my husband to take four weeks unpaid parental leave (which any parent is entitled to take). So he took two weeks paid parental leave which covered intros and first week of them moving in. Then he had four weeks of unpaid parental leave and a further week of annual leave. He had 7 weeks off in total. It made a huge difference to the settling in process. We had siblings (2 & 3). Anything before week 5 and I would have been physically sick at the thought of him returning to work and leaving me on my own. By week 7 when he was preparing to return to work we were in a better place and the kids were coping better and I was prepared for flying solo.

I would say it will depend a lot on what you are taking on as to the amount of time needed for both of you to be around. Siblings and older children I would say the longer you can have both at home the better.

Long term we have moved to both of us working part time at opposite ends of the week from each other. Basically one of us is always at home for the kids but it is not the same person. This has worked out brilliantly. It has saved both our sanities, it has give the children an equal and strong attachment to both of us and has given us a better work/family life balance.
Many find that the needs of their children are so huge that it is impossible for both partners to work full time of even part time. I would say if this is the case and it is possible financially and practically think creatively about how you manage ongoing childcare needs.

hidinginthenightgarden · 11/05/2019 18:14

From memory I am sure that those 2 meetings you mention are for things like meeting SW and intro planning sessions. Not actual introductions.
PAternity would be used for introductions and annual leave thereafter.

SomersetTimes · 12/05/2019 22:06

My employer is super generous

100 working days of adoption leave on full pay for both parents which can be used as needed. So some for intros and rest for the adoption leave. It can be followed by 6 months of parental leave for either or both parents any time until the child turns 18. Although that is paid at a much lower rate.

whataday26 · 18/05/2019 17:21

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.