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HMRC internal manual

Statutory Payments Manual

Special cases - foster parents and step parents

An employee may be entitled to SAP if:

  • A child is matched with them for adoption, and
  • The child is placed with them for adoption.

Step-parents who adopt their partner’s child or children will not be eligible for SAP.

Foster carers will not be eligible for SAP if they apply directly to the court to adopt a child they are already fostering.

However, foster parents who, adopt a child that already lives with them, through an agency, may qualify for SAP if they satisfy the eligibility conditions - that they are issued with a matching certificate by an adoption agency and then child is then placed with them for adoption by that agency

For example, some agencies place children under “concurrent planning” arrangements. The child is initially placed with a family for foster care with a view to the child returning to their birth family. If this isn’t possible the foster placement will become a placement for adoption and the child will be adopted by the foster carers. SAP would be payable from the time the placement for fostering became the placement for adoption.

Foster to adopt cases from 5 April 2015

An employee approved as a foster parent and a prospective adopter who has been notified of being matched with a child under section 12B of the Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005, is eligible for SAP, subject to qualifying conditions.

Those who meet the qualifying conditions can take up to 39 weeks SAP beginning no earlier than two weeks before the child is expected to be placed and no later than the date the child is placed see, SPM130200.

An employee approved as prospective adopter can claim SPP pay once their partner has been notified of being matched under section 12B of the Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005. An employee or agency worker who is the spouse, civil partner or partner of an approved prospective adopter and has been notified of being matched with a child will be entitled to one or two weeks SPP subject to qualifying conditions, see SPM140300.