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Is Paid Family Leave in the Future for Adoptive Parents?

While adoption once carried a stigma, attitudes have changed over time. Today, the distinction between birth parents and adoptive parents is negligible, if it even exists at all. Whether mothers and fathers are coming home after a judge’s decree or birth, the initial months together helps to establish a lifelong family bond.

Two bills before both houses would mandate employers throughout the state to provide paid leave for three months to employees who have just added a child to their family through birth or adoption.

A Glimmer of Hope through Legislation

The House bill creates specific qualifications for leave for both employees and employers. Staff members must work 20 or more hours per week. Employers with a minimum of 15 employees would be mandated to pay for family leave. Fines are built-in for those not complying with the currently proposed law.

The United States stands alone in the unenviable position of being the only developed country that lacks a comprehensive program that provides paid family leave. With a stroke of his pen, President Donald Trump expanded the National Defense Authorization Act, providing paid family leave to federal civilian employees. The initiative launches in October.

Individual employers have stepped up and provided paid leave during such a key time in the lives of families. Many businesses do not offer the perk with some threatening employees with demotion or termination should they temporarily choose their family over their job.

Some small businesses owners fear that providing a prolonged amount of time away from would do more harm than good on their bottom lines. Other organizations see value in the proposed laws and support the efforts of legislators.

Hearings on both pieces of legislation have yet to be scheduled.

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