Understanding adoption leave

Your parental leave entitlements as an adoptive parent

If you’re planning to adopt a child who isn’t already living with you and who isn’t a step child, you’re eligible to apply for pre-adoption and adoption leave. Adoption leave entitlements for Australian employees are similar to those of parental leave entitlements.

Pre-adoption leave entitlements

Adopting a child can be a lengthy process. As well as preparing to welcome a new member to the family, there are information sessions to attend, interviews to go to and finally a handful of meetings and placement arrangements. This busy time can take hours out of your work week. To help manage your pre-adoption schedule, you can apply for pre-adoption leave from your employer.

In Australia, you can take up to 2 days of unpaid pre-adoption leave to attend interviews and meetings connected with the adoption.

Adoption leave entitlements

As a new adoptive parent, you have similar entitlements to employees taking regular parental leave.

At a bare minimum, you can take up to 12 months unpaid parental leave if you have worked for your company for at least 12 months prior to the placement of an adopted child under 16 years old.Adoption leave generally does not apply to a stepchild or a child who has lived with you for a period of 6 months or more.

Check your Enterprise Agreement

FSU members have worked together to secure better entitlements to parental leave for adoption in some companies.

Your entitlement to parental and adoption leave is set out in your Enterprise Agreement, your company’s parental leave policy and the National Employment Standards. Check your agreement <link to page AWARDS AND AGREEMENTS> to learn more about accessing parental leave as an adoptive parent.

Contact FSU

Our active members continue to fight for improved conditions across the finance sector. If you need help accessing adoption leave or addressing problems with your employer, get in touch with our Member Centre. Keep in mind that this page contains general information. If you’d like advice relating to your specific circumstances, please contact FSU on 1300 366 378.