Your adoption leave, pay and other rights

Telling your employer you’re adopting or fostering to adopt

When you must tell them

You must tell your employer you’re adopting, within 7 days of either:

  • being matched with a child for adoption
  • your adoption placement being confirmed, if you’re fostering a child permanently and becoming their legal parent (‘fostering to adopt’) 

If you’re not able to tell them within 7 days, you must tell them as soon as you can.

It’s a good idea to give your employer the information at least 28 days before the date you want your adoption pay to start.

What you must tell them

You must tell your employer:

  • the date the child will be placed with you 
  • when you want your leave to start 

It’s a good idea to provide this information in writing.

How your employer must respond

After you’ve told your employer, they must:

  • reply in writing
  • reply within 28 days
  • confirm the date your adoption leave will run to 

Telling your employer sooner

You can tell your employer sooner if you wish. Having an early and informal conversation can:

  • be a good opportunity for you and your employer to talk about when you’d prefer to take leave
  • help your employer plan for your leave 

Your employer might also offer you support and you could discuss your flexible working options with them. 

Find out how to make a flexible working request.

Time off for appointments

If you’re eligible for adoption leave, you have the right to paid time off work for 5 adoption appointments after you’ve been matched with a child. 

If you employer asks for it, you’ll need to show them an appointment card or other proof.