Adoption pay and leave

4. Eligibility

To qualify for Statutory Adoption Leave, you must:

To get Statutory Adoption Pay you must:

The rules are slightly different if you’re adopting from overseas or having a child through a surrogacy arrangement.

Overseas adoptions

The conditions are the same except for both leave and pay you must:

  • have worked continuously for your employer for at least 26 weeks by the time you get your ‘official notification’
  • sign form SC6 if you’re adopting a child with your partner

The official notification is permission from a UK authority that you can adopt from abroad. Form SC6 confirms you’re not taking paternity leave or pay.

Surrogacy arrangements

To qualify for Statutory Adoption Pay you must:

  • have worked continuously for your employer for at least 26 weeks by the 15th week before the baby’s due
  • intend to apply for a parental order
  • expect the order to be granted (for example because you don’t have any convictions involving children, and the birth mother or father agree to the arrangement)

All the other conditions for qualifying for pay and leave are the same as for adoptive parents.

If you’re genetically related to the child (ie the egg or sperm donor), you can choose to get paternity leave and pay instead. You can’t get both.

You’re fostering for adoption

If you’re eligible for adoption pay and leave, you’ll receive them from when the child comes to live with you.

Exceptions

You don’t qualify for Statutory Adoption Leave or Pay if you:

  • arrange a private adoption
  • become a special guardian or kinship carer
  • adopt a stepchild
  • adopt a family member or stepchild

If you’re not eligible

Your employer must give you form SAP1 explaining why you can’t get Statutory Adoption Pay.

You may get support from your local council instead, if you’re adopting a child.