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Taking time off for an adoption

It may be easy to become too focused on the "medical" portion of the Family and Medical Leave Act and forget that it also includes family matters. Many from Fort Lauderdale come to us here at The Law Office of Michelle Cohen Levy, P.A. asking if that includes preparing for an adoption case. If you have the same question, you will be happy to know that it does. 

As you likely already know, accepting a foster child into your home or preparing to adopt a child can be an extensive process. For this reason, the U.S. Department of Labor states that FMLA guidelines allow you to take time away from work to fulfill the obligations associated with this task, whether they be to: 

  • Attend counseling
  • Complete a physical examination
  • Meet and consult with the child's birth parents (or their legal representatives)
  • Attend court hearings

FMLA also entitles you to time off to travel to whatever destination you may need to in order to take custody of the child. 

The first few months following an adoption can be the most crucial, as they provide you with the time needed to form familial bonds. FMLA regulations also mandate that you be able to take time off immediately after an adoption has been completed in order to bond with your new child. There is only one stipulation tied to time off following an adoption: it must be taken in one block (unless your employer allows you to take it intermittently). Time off for an adoption must be taken within 12 months of the child's placement in your custody. 

You can learn more about FMLA regulations related to family matters by continuing to explore our site. 


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