Who is the Primary Adopter?

This is the person who takes adoption leave and receives adoption pay (where applicable) and would be the parental order parent in the case of surrogacy.

Who is the Secondary Adopter?

This is the Primary Adopter’s partner and may be entitled to paternity leave and pay.

Who decides who is the Primary or Secondary Adopter?

It is up to the couple to decide and elect who is the Primary and Secondary Adopter.

What is a parental order parent?

In a surrogacy arrangement the parental order parent is the person who becomes the ‘primary adopter’ and takes adoption leave and pay. You would decide with your partner who is the parental order parent.

What is a matching certificate?

The matching certificate is used to confirm eligibility for statutory adoption pay and leave purposes. This is provided by the adoption agency and confirms the name and address of the adoptive parent(s), confirmation that the named adoptive parent(s) have been matched by the adoption agency with a child for adoption, the expected placement date and the name and address of the adoption agency.

What is a parental order?

In a surrogacy arrangement, you apply for a parental order to transfer the legal rights from the birth mother to you and your partner.

Can I attend pre-adoption meetings if they are during working hours?

Yes, you are entitled to reasonable paid time off. You should give your line manager as much notice as possible of your appointments (provide evidence such as an appointment card/letter).  Where possible appointments should be made for the start or end of the working day but we appreciate that this is not always possible.

Do I get any time off for appointments in a surrogacy arrangement?

Yes, if you are having a child through a surrogacy arrangement and intend to apply for a parental order to become one of the child’s legal parents, you have the right to unpaid time off work to accompany the birth mother to up to 2 antenatal appointments.

When can I start my adoption leave?

Once you have submitted your Application for Adoption Leave form along with either the matching certificate (for adoption) or parental order (for surrogacy) then your adoption leave can start:

  • No earlier than (the date given in your application) which will be no more than 14 days before the expected date of placement/surrogacy birth;
  • No later than the date of the child’s placement or surrogacy birth (or the day after that if you are at work on that day).

What should I do if I decide to change the start date of my adoption leave?

You need to let your Line Manager know in writing at least 28 days before the revised start date of your adoption leave (or as soon as possible).

What happens if the placement ends during the adoption leave period?

You must notify your Line Manager in writing immediately. You will be entitled to remain on adoption leave and to receive any adoption pay which you are entitled to for up to eight weeks after the end of the week in which the placement ends, or until the adoption leave was due to end, whichever is earlier.

How do I know if I am entitled to adoption pay?

Your entitlement to adoption pay depends on your length of continuous service and how much you earn.

To qualify for Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) and/or Occupational Adoption Pay (OAP) continuous service means, continuous service with Aberdeen City Council or a public authority as listed in the Redundancy Payments (Continuity of Employment in Local Government, etc) (Modification) Orders (which covers local authorities and related bodies).   See Section 3.4 of the Adoption Guidance for full details of pay entitlements.

I am adopting more than one child, do I get any extra provision?

If you are adopting more than one child as part of the same adoption arrangement or expecting more than one child through a surrogacy arrangement, your entitlement to adoption pay and adoption leave is the same as if you were only adopting one child.

I currently receive Essential Car User Allowance what will happen to this whilst I am on adoption leave?

As you currently receive Essential Car User allowance, you will continue to be paid the full lump sum allowance during your adoption leave.

I chose to take the 12 weeks at 50% of my normal pay but I have decided not to return to my job, do I have to repay this money?

If you do not return to work following your adoption leave for a period of 12 completed calendar weeks, you will be required to pay the money back (paid back on a pro rata basis if you return for less than 12 completed calendar weeks). See Section 3.4 of the Adoption Guidance for further details.

Do I still contribute to my Local Government Pension Scheme whilst on adoption leave?

Whilst you are on adoption leave you will pay pension contributions based on the adoption pay you receive during the paid period of your adoption leave (where you are entitled to receive adoption pay).

Whether or not you are entitled to receive adoption pay, the Council will pay pension contributions for you for the ordinary adoption leave period (first 26 weeks of your adoption leave) based on your normal full pay. The ordinary adoption leave period will be classed as pensionable service.

In addition, if you are entitled to be paid Occupational Adoption Pay and Statutory Adoption Pay for up to 39 weeks, the Council will pay pension contributions for you for the first 39 weeks of your adoption leave period based on your normal full pay. The ordinary adoption leave period (first 26 weeks of your adoption leave) plus the first 13 weeks of your additional adoption leave period (a total of 39 weeks) will be classed as pensionable service.

In respect of any unpaid period of adoption leave, where no pension contributions are paid either by you or the Council, you can elect, if you wish, to buy the ‘lost’ pension using an Additional Pension Contribution (APC) contract. Where you elect to pay an APC to purchase any or all the amount of pension ‘lost’ during the unpaid period of your adoption leave and you make the election within 30 days of returning to work, the Council will pay 2/3rds of the cost of the APC with you paying 1/3rd (it being a shared cost APC). If the election is made after 30 days following your return to work you would require to pay the entire cost of the APC yourself. You should contact the Pensions Section on 01224 264264 or by email pensions@nespf.org.uk if you wish to make an election for an APC.

Will I receive a national pay award or a salary increment whilst on adoption leave?

Going on adoption leave will not affect your eligibility to receive a national pay award or a salary increment. See the guidance for further details.

How does adoption leave affect my continuous service?

Adoption leave counts towards your continuous service with the Council and so does not count as a break in continuous service.


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