Adoption leave


Qualifications for adoption leave

  • be newly matched with a child for adoption by an approved adoption agency; and
  • be the only partner taking adoption leave (when a couple adopts jointly, if one partner is eligible for adoption leave and pay, the other may take paternity/maternity support leave and pay. Similarly, when an individual adopts, if they are eligible for adoption leave and pay, their partner may be entitled to paternity leave and pay).
  • employees matched with a child/children on or after 5th April 2015 are entitled to take up to one year/52 weeks' adoption leave regardless of length of service with the University.

To qualify for adoption pay, in addition to the above, you must have been employed continuously by the University for a period of 26 weeks or more leading into the ‘matching week’.


From 5th April 2015 the primary adopter of a child born through a surrogacy arrangement may also be entitled to take adoption leave and pay if they have applied for a parental order.

Dual approved prospective adopters

The Children and Families Act 2014 contains provisions which require local authorities who are looking after a child for whom they are considering adoption to place them with local authority foster parents who are also approved prospective adopters, on a fostering basis. These carers are referred to as dual approved prospective adopters.

Dual approved prospective adopters may be eligible for adoption leave and pay where they have agreed to have a child placed with them in accordance with section 22C of the Children Act 1989 with a view to them adopting that child. To be eligible for adoption leave and/or pay the child must be matched with the dual approved prospective adopter on or after 5 April 2015.

Time Off

From 5th April 2015 the primary adopter will be able to take paid time off for up to five adoption appointments once they have been notified that they have been matched with a child(ren). Please try, whenever possible, to arrange appointments at times which cause the minimum disruption to work or other work colleagues.

Secondary adopter

The secondary adopter is entitled to take Paternity/maternity support leave once the child/children have been placed. Once adopters have been notified that they have been matched the secondary adopter will be entitled to take unpaid time off for up to two appointments. As this is unpaid time off, the normal expectation of the University is that the time off will be made up at another time, by agreement with your manager. Alternatively, if the nature of the work means this is not possible or if the employee requests this, then the time off can be taken as unpaid leave. Dates and times should be sent to Employee Services in HR Services so that the appropriate deduction can be made from your pay.

Information for managers

If time is taken as unpaid leave then please ensure that Employee Services are emailed at with the employees name, payroll number and the dates and times that they were away from work.