Adoption pay and leave

5. How to claim

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

Statutory Adoption Leave

Within 7 days of being matched with a child you must tell your employer:

  • how much leave you want
  • your leave start date
  • the ‘date of placement’ - the date the child is placed with you

Your employer can ask for this in writing and for proof of the adoption.

Your employer must confirm your leave start and end dates within 28 days.

Use the planner to work out when you must claim your adoption leave.

Statutory Adoption Pay

Tell your employer you want to stop work to adopt a child and when you want your Statutory Adoption Pay to start. You must give them at least 28 days’ notice. They can ask for this in writing and for proof of the adoption.

Your employer must confirm within 28 days how much Statutory Adoption Pay you’ll get and when it will start and stop.

If they decide you’re not eligible, they must give you form SAP1 within 7 days of making their decision and explain why.

Proof of adoption

You must give your employer proof of adoption to qualify for Statutory Adoption Pay. Proof isn’t needed for Statutory Adoption Leave unless they request it.

The proof must show:

  • your name and address and that of the agency
  • the match date - for example the matching certificate
  • the date of placement - for example a letter from the agency
  • the relevant UK authority’s ‘official notification’ confirming you’re allowed to adopt (overseas adoptions only)
  • the date the child arrived in the UK - for example plane ticket (overseas adoptions only)

Overseas adoptions

You must tell your employer:

  • the date of your ‘official notification’
  • the estimated date the child arrives in the UK - within 28 days of getting the notification
  • the actual date the child arrives in the UK - within 28 days of this date
  • how much leave you want and your start date - giving your employer 28 days notice

Surrogacy arrangements

If you use a surrogate to have a baby, tell your employer the due date and when you want to start your leave at least 15 weeks before the expected week of birth. They may ask for this in writing.

Your employer may also ask for a written statement (‘statutory declaration’) to confirm you’ve applied or will apply for a parental order in the 6 months after the child’s birth. You must sign this in the presence of a legal professional.