Adoption pay and leave


Statutory Adoption Leave is 52 weeks. It’s made up of:

  • 26 weeks of Ordinary Adoption Leave
  • 26 weeks of Additional Adoption Leave

Only 1 person in a couple can take adoption leave. The other partner could get paternity leave instead.

If you get adoption leave, you can also get paid time off work to attend 5 adoption appointments after you’ve been matched with a child.

Use the planner to work out the dates for your adoption leave.

Start date

Adoption leave can start:

  • up to 14 days before the date the child starts living with you (UK adoptions)
  • when the child arrives in the UK or within 28 days of this date (overseas adoptions)
  • the day the child’s born or the day after (if you’ve used a surrogate to have a child)

Change your dates

You must tell your employer within 28 days if the date of placement (or UK arrival date for overseas adoptions) changes.

You must give your employer at least 8 weeks’ notice if you want to change your return to work date.