Covers the Adoption Leave Procedure and the entitlements available to employees.

The Adoption Policy & Guidance includes an allowance of up to 5 days paid pre-adoption leave for staff who are going through the process of preparing for the adoption of a child. Requests should be made through the normal line management process. This allowance aims to support staff to attend sessions required as part of the adoption process that cannot be held outside of work time

The Adoption Policy applies to all employees who apply for adoption through an approved adoption agency. An employee who is adopting a child and complies with notification requirements is entitled to 26 weeks' Ordinary Adoption Leave and 26 weeks' Additional Adoption Leave. The 52 weeks is the full adoption leave period in total.

There are some differences in entitlement depending on the conditions of service that apply.

Adoption leave and pay is available when a child is newly placed for adoption to:

  • Individuals who adopt;
  • One member of a couple where a couple adopt jointly.
  • Also applies to adopting a baby through a surrogacy arrangement.

The partner of an individual who adopts, or the other member of a couple who are adopting jointly, may be entitled to paternity or maternity support leave and pay.

To qualify for adoption leave an employee must be newly matched with a child for adoption by an approved adoption agency. Adoption leave and adoption pay is not available where a child is not newly matched for adoption, for example when a step-parent is adopting a partner's children.

Useful Downloads

Adoption Overview

Adoption Toolkit

Keep in Touch Days Form

Matching Certificate

Model Letter A - Adoption

Model Letter B - Adoption


Adoption UK

British association for Adoption and Fostering