Adoption leave, Part 2: Speak out

I’ve gotten feedback from New Jersey folks wanting to know how to contact their legislator to express support of S-2249.

To email your local legislator, click here. And for those of you writing your employer’s HR offices and wanting guidance on crafting the perfect argument for implementing an adoption leave policy, click here to see the advice and sample letters offered by Adoptive Families magazine.

Could concerns about misuse of the time off (by people who aren’t legitimately sick or aren’t actually caring for a sick family member) actually sideline or kill the bill altogether?

How can “misuse of time off” even apply to new adoptive parents? It’s pretty darn easy to prove you’ve adopted.

If the bill doesn’t survive because of all the non-adoption-related concerns being bandied about, we must use this as an opportunity to make clear to legislators that adoptive parents need deserve the same rights as biological parents.

Let’s not forget that in many cases (surely, not all — scores of people adopt children for myriad reasons other than infertility, and assumptions otherwise tee me off — but that’s another post for another day) folks who are adopting are not tapping into their employer-provided medical insurance to cover hospital bills for a birth, and bills for prenatal care.

And, let’s also not forget that these same people have already paid into the state’s temporary disability program which would cover their leave had they physically birthed their children. Sen. Sweeney’s bill would rectify that, making adoptive parents beneficiaries of the temporary disability leave as well.

So what kind of financial burden on employers are we really talking about here?

And would those mothers out there who’ve physically birthed their children please tell me if I’m wrong, but generally speaking, isn’t the period of disability in which you are healing from the birth shorter than the total time you’re given off for a leave?

So can’t we all agree that a traditional maternity leave, at some point, isn’t just about healing physically but also about taking time to bond with your baby and gain your footing as a parent? Don’t all new mothers/parents deserve that?

And frankly, isn’t this also about good-faith on the employer’s part? It’s nearly 2007, for goddess’ sake.

My child and my family aren’t any less valued than a co-worker’s, right? Right?


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Filed under Adoption, Children, Family, Legislation, Parenting

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