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You must give your employer notice of your intention to take adoption leave within seven days of being notified by the adoption agency that a child will be placed in your care for adoption. The notice must specify: 

  • the date on which the child is expected to be placed with you for adoption; and 
  • the date that you have chosen for your adoption leave to begin. 

If you find that you cannot give this notice within seven days, you must give notice as soon as is 'reasonably practicable'. 

If an employer requests it, you must provide written evidence of the adoption. This should be in the form of documents issued by the adoption agency responsible for your placement (sometimes called a matching certificate). This documentary evidence must show: 

  • the name and address of the agency; 
  • the name and date of birth of the child; 
  • the date that you were notified you had been matched with the child; and 
  • the date that the agency expects the child to be placed in your care. 

If you are taking adoption leave, you must start your leave on the date that you have specified in the notice to your employer.  

The notice can be verbal or written, but your employer can request that it is given in writing, and it is often best to do this in order to avoid any confusion at a later date.  

Your adoption leave can start on: 

  • the day the child is expected to be placed with you; or 
  • a specific number of days after the child has been placed with you; or 
  • on a pre-determined date. 

If you find that you are at work on the day you specified your leave to begin, your adoption leave period will begin on the day after that. 

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.
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