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 paid time off during working hours.  The primary adopter is entitled to attend up to 5 meetings, each meeting may last up to 6.5 hours.  The secondary adopter is entitled to attend up to 2 meetings.  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 a fixed date up to 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. Where the adoption placement ends within the first 26 weeks of adoption leave you will be entitled to remain on leave until the end of the 26 week period.  Where the adoption placement ends after the 26th week of adoption leave you will be entitled to remain on adoption leave for up to eight weeks after the end of the placement, or until the leave was due to end, whichever is earlier.

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

Your entitlement to adoption pay (Primary Adopter) 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, employment with councils, employers listed in the Redundancy Payment (Local Government) (Modification) Order 1990 (as amended) and any other employment deemed by the council to be relevant, shall be counted as continuous service (as defined in the Employment Rights Act 1996) subject to a gap in employment not exceeding one working week.  To view section 3.4 of the Adoption Guidance for full details of pay entitlements click here.

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.

Do I still contribute to my pension 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).

The Council will pay pension contributions for you during the paid period of your adoption leave, based on your normal full pay. The paid adoption leave period will be classed as pensionable service.

Employees in the Scottish Teachers’ Pension Scheme do not have the option to pay pension contributions for any unpaid period of adoption leave. If you are a member in the Career Average Revalued Earnings (CARE) scheme there are flexibilities.  To increase your pension, a member is able to elect to accrue a pension at 1/45, 1/50, 1/55 by paying contributions at a higher rate, you are able to purchase additional pension or elect to buy out the standard reduction so that you can take your pension at age 65 without any actuarial reduction as well as purchasing AVCs.  Therefore, when a member is in pensionable employment this allows them to make up pension. Please contact the SPPA by telephone 01896 893000 or via the website www.sppa.gov.uk for further details.

Employees in the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) should refer to the non-teaching guidance for details on pension implications (available on the P&OAnytime).

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.

National pay awards will be applied automatically to those on adoption leave and Statutory or Occupational Adoption Pay (where applicable) will be recalculated to take into account any such pay award.

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.

Click here to return to the main Adoption – Teachers page.

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