General Question

MrItty's avatar

Would adoption leave apply for adopting my bride's son?

Asked by MrItty (17356 points ) October 18th, 2008

When my mother and step-father got married, my step-father signed a bunch of paperwork to legally adopt me.

I now find that I may eventually be in the same situation. My girlfriend has a 10 year old son. If she and I were to get married, and I legally adopted him, do you think my company’s adoption leave benefit would apply?

(Obviously, I know only someone in my HR department can answer this question for sure, and I’ll try calling them Monday morning. I’m just wondering about other people’s experiences and guesses.)

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12 Answers

jca's avatar

i am the union rep where i work, so i deal a lot with FMLA and sick leave (i work for the govt). i am not claiming to be in any way an expert on this. i also read tinyfaery’s link to the FMLA site.

I am hazarding an educated guess that your situation might not apply because it’s not an adoption that is new to the family (like if you adopted a baby or a child that was brand new to your family, or went to another country to adopt) it’s just a legal adoption you are doing. do you understand what i am trying to say?

since it’s not a new addition to your family (it’s a new situtation to you, i understand) i am wondering if you are looking to just take some time off? time that you don’t have to charge to your vacation?

skfinkel's avatar

I think the purpose of time off with a birth or a newborn is to care for the infant who needs 24 hour care and have critical bonding with that infant.

A ten year old obviously doesn’t need the 24 hour care—he’s in school. Whether you could make an argument for bonding is another question. I would be most surprised, but you never know.

tinyfaery's avatar

If the kid never had a father and Mritty never had a kid I’m sure adoption would be an emotional event. What about celebration, or bonding time away from school and work? I commend you Mritty for even thinking about legally telling this kid that you want to be his caregiver, his protector, and his family.

jca's avatar

yes, i agree that it’s commendable for you to do this.

i am curious what the job will say about time off for FMLA. please let us know monday what the answer is.

jvgr's avatar

Even though it is a 10 yr old, you could make a case like:
Bonding is important in any age.
If you work a night or graveyard shift such that your available time to be with him is little to none, having a period of maximum contact would be good for the family.

MrItty's avatar

ica, you are rather correct. I understand completely this is not the “typical” adoption that is probably thought of when one says the word “adoption”. And you are also correct that I’m basically just wondering if I can get time off after my (very hypothetical, at this point) marriage. Whether I could or not would obviously have no bearing on my decision to marry or adopt. It would just be a nice added benefit if I could.

jca's avatar

well?........what’s the answer? inquiring minds need to know!

by the way i know it looks like “ica” but it’s “JCA.”

MrItty's avatar

Damnit, I forgot to call them today. Sigh. I’ll try to remember tomorrow.

Via some exploring on the web, I did find that FMLA specifically does NOT cover leaves for adoption of step-children. But that doesn’t (necessarily) mean that my company doesn’t grant it anyway. My company generally has better benefits than only those required by law…

MrItty's avatar

Sorry, jca. I won’t make the naming mistake in the future…

jca's avatar

i had been thinking about it more and i was thinking that with the child of a girlfriend who you are marrying, you would presumably already know the child and therefore, not need to bond (that’s why i asked you if you were just looking for time off). you may, however, need a little time off to do legal paperwork. where i work (local govt), you are allowed FMLA only after you’ve exhausted all your sick, vacation, personal and other leave time.

MrItty's avatar

I just got off the phone with the personelle center of my employer. I was told that there’s no specific prohibition to that circumstance, but that it is defined as “leave for the placement of a newly adopted child in an associate’s home”, which is ambiguous at best. By that definition, as long as my g/f and I weren’t living together before the marriage & adoption, he would qualify. But she also said that all leave requests are reviewed by a Case Manager who makes the final approval. So I would have to specifically request it and note my reasons. And somehow, I don’t think “To take my wife and stepson on a three-month vacation” would qualify. :-P

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