Do I Get FMLA From Work If I Adopt a Baby?
FMLA is a wonderful time when you get to just stay home and bond with your baby while also adjusting to life as a parent. The 6, 8, or 12 weeks depending on the situation, can be a time to create a schedule that works for the household and get used to functioning in the day while waking up every few hours at night. But what about parents who adopt a baby? These babies have the same needs; in some cases, more needs and you need time to bond too. Don’t worry, after a Texas adoption you do have access to FMLA.
If you have questions or need help with getting FMLA after adoption, an experienced adoption attorney in Corpus Christi can help.
What Does FMLA Cover?
FMLA covers employee leave for any Family or Medical event. Meaning that you can take the leave for adoption as well as for instances when you need to appear in court, meet with your attorneys, and see doctors if your new child needs medical attention. For employees who are adopting children, they have 12-months in which to take their leave.
The state allows the employer to permit for some duration of leave, but there is also non-FMLA leave available with some employers. FMLA is a nice break, and it generally comes with the promise that you’ll get to spent time with your child and return to work. However, it doesn’t protect against any form of termination.
For example, if you go out on FMLA for the duration of time allowed, then fail to return, your leave is not extended. Additionally, if you return to work and your performance is lackluster, you could still face a backlash at work.
What is Bonding Time After You Adopt a Baby?
The adoption of a child in Houston can result in up to 12 weeks of bonding time for new parents. Typically employers expect parents to take this time altogether immediately after the finalization of the adoption. Texas does not have strict maternity or paternal laws that protect employees. Instead, they rely on the FMLA as a structured guide for employers to honor reasonable family absences.
Will You Need to Apply for Disability or Go Through Other Legal Options?
The employer has no obligation to pay you during the time that you’re out on leave. Additionally, as you did not give birth or undergo any procedure, then you don’t have many options for disability. You can pursue legal routes to get payouts for any accrued vacation or paid-time-off that you have built up with your employer. But overall you should expect this time that you spend away from work to be completely without pay.
Connecting with an Adoption Attorney May Help Provide More In-Depth Information
FMLA is available, but you may have some difficulty in scheduling and managing it. With your Houston attorney, you can figure out what documents you need to provide your employer for FMLA. You should also keep a close record of these instances.
Whenever you have appointments in Houston with your attorney, the adoption agency, or a court date, you need to take down that date. But also be sure that you have proof of the scheduled appointment. FMLA is not something that companies take lightly as they’re missing an employee during that time.
Your company may not fully understand that the leave is available to parents through adoption as well. To that extent, your attorney for the adoption may need to bridge that knowledge gap and support you in getting the best adoption experience possible. Your bonding time is critical for your family, regardless of the age of the child.
Taking 12 weeks together can be a great time to set up schedules and systems that work for both partners and the new child. If you have other children in the home, it’s also a way to make sure that you can distribute your time with them as well and keep them engaged with the new child.
Before You Adopt a Baby, Call a Local Adoption Lawyer in Houston
If you’ve managed to go through most of the process without an adoption lawyer, you might think that everything is all sorted out. That’s usually not the case with adoptions. When it comes to the finalization, getting your FMLA time, and managing the follow-ups, it’s important to have a legal hand in your corner. An experienced law firm that handles adoptions in Corpus Christi can help.
Eddington Worley has helped countless couples through the adoption process and to fight for their rights as adoptive parents following the completion of the adoption. It’s almost a never case-closed situation. Contact our offices for support through the end-phase of adoption.
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