It is a widely known fact that the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows you to take time away from your job for pregnancy and birth-related circumstances. However, what if growing your family looks different and you plan to adopt a child?
Adoption requires a lot of your time while you navigate home studies, file numerous documents and collaborate with your legal team. As such, it is inevitable that you will need to take time away from work to handle your responsibilities.
Understand your rights
Passed in 1993, FMLA protections aim to ease the often-dynamic changes of pregnancy and birth, as well as enable you to balance professional and personal responsibilities. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the FMLA addresses adoption too. If you meet the eligibility requirements for employment, your employer should allow you up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off for an adoption placement.
Communicate with your employer
Keep your employer informed of your adoption plans. The process requires a lot of personal information from you, as well as many confidential details about the child you plan to adopt. While you certainly do not have to share everything with your employer, keeping the lines of communication open throughout the process may encourage understanding from them. You might find that sharing some of your experience increases the support you feel along the way.
If you meet the eligibility requirements for time off work and your employer refuses to comply, you might need to take your concerns to a higher authority. You deserve to have what you need to bring a child into your family regardless of whether or not it is the traditional way.