Florida Adoption Maternity and Paternity Leave

June 28, 2021

By Adoption Choices of Florida

Florida Adoption Maternity and Paternity Leave

Adoption is a long and complicated process. The entire process takes at least nine months to one year. From choosing adoption to going through the Florida adoption process, and everything in between. You may be wondering, “but what about maternity leave?” There is so much time taken up by doctor appointments, picking and meeting with adoptive parents, and other various appointments. Regardless of your position in adoption, you’re probably wondering if you’re entitled to maternity leave as a birth mother or paternity leave as an adoptive parent. You feel like you need and want a break to just breathe for a few minutes. 

If you’re in the thick of adoption or considering adoption, there’s good news! Adoption Choices of Florida is here to help you understand all of your options and rights for adoption maternity leave. While we want to provide you with the most information possible, always check with a lawyer or Florida adoption counselor to confirm the local maternity leave laws.  Every employer will also have their maternity leave policies. Be sure to consult your employer and Florida adoption agency representative for adoption maternity leave questions. 

What is the Federal and Medical Leave Act (FLMA)?

The Federal and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) ensures that eligible employees of covered employers take unpaid job-protected leave with continued access to health insurance coverage.  Birth mothers can also be eligible to FLMA before adoption for counseling, court hearings, or travel necessary for the adoption. Additionally, FMLA covers the following: 

  • The birth of a child and bonding with the newborn child.
  • The placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to bond with the newly placed child within one year of placement
  • A serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of his or her job.

What Is Maternity and Paternity Leave?  

Maternity leave is basically when the mother takes time to heal and get their baby to a point where they can sleep and eat on a semi-regular schedule. The birth mother will most definitely need some time to recover from giving birth and the mental recovery of placing their baby with another family and signing away their parental rights. In many ways, that aspect of adoption requires much more healing. 

Depending on your employer, your adoption leave will vary. In most cases, adoption maternity leave will be the same as regular maternity leave. Ask your adoption counselor if you have questions about your specific state’s maternity and paternity leave laws. 

Do Adoptive Parents Get Paternity Leave?

If you are adopting a child, there is a lot you’re preparing for, buying diapers, clothes, formula, and everything a newborn may need. Obviously, after birthing a child, the biological mother will need some time off to recover. But, the adoptive parents who take care of that child also need some additional hours away from work. You are blessed with a tiny delicate life that never seems to sleep. You need time to bond, plan, and heal. Adoption is a long and arduous process. Thanks to FLMA, if you work for a covered employer, you can get paternity leave. There is also the chance that your employer won’t be as supportive, which is why it’s critical to know and understand your rights. 

Do Birth Mothers In An Adoption Get Maternity Leave? 

Be sure to ask what the maternity laws are in your state and check with your employer on their policies. Many employers are supportive, but not all will provide pay with the time off. Talk with your HR manager early on in the adoption and explain your situation. FMLA does protect your right to get time for leave but does not guarantee payment for your leave time. As a birth mother, you’ll want and need time to heal from giving birth and the emotional toll of adoption. Not everyone will understand your need to take time to heal physically and mentally, but FLMA will ensure you get some time to catch your breath. 

Maternity and Paternity Leave in Florida: Know Your Rights

Whether you’re the birth mother or adoptive parents, you need to know your rights to taking leave. While most employers will be willing to go above and beyond and offer pay for your required time off, not all will. Although it is hard to imagine, some employers will be less than helpful to those in an adoption requesting time off. Understand FLMA and speak with an attorney immediately if you are having issues with your employer refusing or shortchanging your maternity or paternity leave. When you work with a Florida adoption agency like Adoption Choices of Florida, we will always work to advocate for you. Do you have any questions about FLMA or maternity and paternity leave? 

If you are a pregnant woman in Florida considering adoption, and have any questions or concerns about the adoption process, please don’t hesitate to reach out. For more information on adoption, visit us at Adoption Choices of Florida or call us at: (833) 352-3678