Maternity Leave — The Bump

Maternity Leave

Well, it looks like there is no way we can afford for me to take 12 weeks unpaid. All of our savings will be wiped out by adoption expenses, so it's not like we'd have savings to live off of.

Short of tabling adoption for another year (and being another year older) to save money specificially for leave, I don't see me being able to take a full leave.

The irony of course, if I'd given birth we'd have our savings and I'd get disability pay.

I should've realized this before tonight, obviously, but right now I am mad about it. I've had so much taken away from me, and now I don't even get to have a regular maternity leave?!

Re: Maternity Leave

  • I know... it does suck!  I actually have some decent adoption benefits at work, but the reimbursement doesn't come until finalization and I get 2 weeks paid leave, then I can go into the regular state programs.  I also can't afford to take all 12 weeks I'm entitled to because we just can't afford for me to be out of work for that long.  I'm the major breadwinner in my house. 

    I actually wrote a long, long piece for the "suggestion box" at work.  I cited all the issues with only being allowed 2 weeks off and countered all their potential arguements with the additional issues, plus I cited the adoptive families list of top adoption friendly companies and pointed out that most of these top companies gave people at least matching paid maternity leave as people having biological children.  I basically pointed out that although their reimbursement was generous, by the time it would be recieved, the child has been in the home for at least 6 months. I pointed out we would be broke from paying for the adoption expenses and any leave (state/federal programs) beyond the two weeks offered by the company would be very difficult to afford and I would be forced to return to work without having the benefit of bonding with my new child. 

    I have yet to hear anything back from them, but I am hoping they might reconsider the length of the paid leave.  Anyway - I guess the only thing we can all do is ask.  Most people don't adopt.  How much extra would these programs cost really?  And how much good will would be generated?

    I hope you figure out a way to afford your leave.  We had to suspend plans for my husband to go back to school in order to make sure we could afford me being home for at least 6 weeks.

    TTC since May 2006. After 3 failed Clomid cycles, 2 failed Injectibles/IUIs, 2 failed IVFs and 1 failed FET, we moved on to adoption! 


    Last ditch FET resulted in BFP, and identical twin girls!

  • Do you have vacation time you could save up? I get 10 days paid time off for adoption total ( including any time I take off for meetings with the agency, meeting birthparents, ect) and we can't afford for me to be off without pay either (after we pay the adoption fees!) so I have been saving my vacation time. I get 3 weeks and have used a few days but I should be able to be off for 20 days at least paid. It's hard not to take any vacation during the year but it will be worth it when I get to stay out longer with the baby!!!!! 
    Lilypie First Birthday tickers
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  • I agree, that sucks!! Do you have vacation days and sick days you could save up? Or can you and your DH each take a little time off?
  • If you're not matched yet, you can probably start saving time up now.  My employer doesn't offer paid maternity leave either.  However, we have a combined sick and vacation time leave and you can carry over up to 240 hours a year.  I was able to squirrel away almost 5 weeks of leave that way.  The other thing I did was pay ahead on my car payment so that I wouldn't have a payment for 3 months, maybe try to do the same with the mortgage if possible.  It was tight for us, but this was something I really wanted and needed, to spend the full 12 weeks bonding with my child and so we built it in to our budget even though I'm also the primary bread winner.  Yes, it sucks, but it is what it is.  One positive out of all this- it taught us to start cutting back on luxuries early so when we had day care expenses, it wasn't such a big adjustment.
  • I personally wouldn't put off adopting for an entire year to save for leave if there is any other way you can work it out.  I only took four weeks off - 2 weeks paid vacation and 2 weeks unpaid.  Since I started my leave a few days before DS was born, he was actually only 3.5 weeks old when I went back to work.

    While it was certainly not ideal, it wasn't as bad as you might think.  You don't have physical recovery to deal with, so physically you will feel fine.  Before DS was born I thought it would be so hard to go back so quickly, but the reality was that he slept all the time.  The only time he was awake was when he was eating or getting a diaper change.  So I didn't feel like I was really missing out on quality time with him.  It wasn't until three months when DS started being more alert and interacting. 

    How much paid time can you take off if you use up vacation and any other personal days you may have?  Can you afford to take just two unpaid weeks off?  Could you go back to work at four weeks, and then have your husband take all of his vacation time?  Do you have family members around who could care for the baby until he is old enough for daycare?

  • DD was 26 months when we brought her home and we did not get any paid time off work. We both saved our vacation time and and took long weekends off at different times. Our mothers helped us also. We had a total of 4 weeks between the two of us and with help from family we were able to keep DD home for 8 weeks before daycare.

    With DD being older it really helped that her foster family had pictures of our family that DD looked at daily. She was calling us mommy and papa when she came home. We would talk to her one the phone as much as you can with a 2 year old. It took about a month before she would let me hold her to go to sleep or for comfort her.

  • I was just thinking about this the other night.  We are pursuing foster-adopt again, but I did not get to take any leave with our first child because he was still a foster child when we took custody of him.  I plan on our next child be ready (or very close to being ready) for adoption, so I do plan to take sometime off.  I know it would not be the same amount of time that I would have taken if I had a bio child, and that frustrates me!
  • not fair, huh!  

    I have a staff of mostly women....and nearly all of them have been pregnant while working with me.  Can you believe that they can stretch their leaves out to nearly five months!!!  Five months paid!  It's insane but lucky them.

    Me, on the other hand-  I guess I should complain.  State benefit for paid family leave is six weeks.  I'll stretch it and add vacation, and integrate it with working from home a day or two per week.  I guess I am lucky in my own way too.

    image Best friends and sisters... 24 months and 16 months
  • I can use paid time off, yes, but I've only been at my employer since Dec09. And of course I used a week right off the bat to recover from a surgery that was "supposed" to restore my fertility. So, yeah.

    I'm hoping with paid holidays (wouldn't it be great to bring home a baby around Christmas!), plus whatever PTO I can stockpile, plus us just being as frugal as possible, I can be out for 6ish weeks.

    I am approaching my employer about adding some kind of adoption benefits (paid leave or reimbursement or something!), so we'll see. Can't hurt to ask.

  • Not sure what you do for your career but here are some other options (if they would apply) that you could talk about.  Perhaphs you could do some half days for a while.  Can you do some work from home??? Can you bring you LO in after leave for a while.  Be sure and ask if there are any options that would allow you to work and still get all the time you can with your LO!
    Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers Lilypie Fifth Birthday tickers Lilypie Third Birthday tickers Lilypie First Birthday tickers ***DS 08/27/05***DS 07/08/08***DS 03/22/10***DD 11/20/11**** M/C 09/04/04 M/C 11/15/04 M/C molar pregnancy lost twins second tri 05/14/07 M/C 09/29/07 M/C 02/21/11
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