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Adoption Leave

Receive up to 52 weeks' leave to care for your recently adopted child.

Who is it for?

This Policy applies to all civilian staff in the MOD and Service line managers of civilian staff in the execution of their line management responsibilities except:

  • Ministry of Defence Police, who should refer to MDP Maternity Adoption Paternity and Parental Leave

  • Former MOD employees, pensioners and dependants;

  • Prospective employees;

  • Fee earners and contractors;

  • People on secondment or loan to MOD from OGD's industry and academia or on work experience placements (but depends on the terms of secondments/Loan Agreements);

  • Locally engaged civilians;

  • Trading Fund;

  • Queen Victoria School (QVS) Peripatetic teachers;

  • Sovereign Base Area Administration (SBAA) Cyprus District Judge and Customs & Exercise;

  • Traffic Representatives (Ground Hostesses).

What do I get?

As the primary adopter, you are entitled to a maximum of 52 weeks’ Adoption Leave. The 52 weeks consists of 26 weeks’ Ordinary Adoption Leave (OAL) immediately followed by 26 weeks’ Additional Adoption Leave (AAL).

You will be paid 100% of your salary for the first 6 weeks which includes SAP.

For the remaining 33 weeks the lesser of either:

  • the standard rate of SAP; or

  • 90% of your average weekly earnings.

Further information on the current rate of SAP can be found at Gov.UK.

Please note that for couples jointly adopting, you must nominate one partner to take Adoption Leave and pay (primary adopter) and the other partner to take paternity/adoptive support leave and pay (secondary adopter).

To be eligible for Adoption Leave, you must:

  • Have been matched with a child to be placed with you by a UK adoption agency.

  • Have notified the agency that you agree that the child should be placed with you and agree the date of placement.

  • Have been continuously employed by the MOD for at least twenty-six weeks under a contract of employment by the week you were matched with a child;

  • Notify DBS Civilian Personnel in writing of when you want to take your adoption leave no more than seven days after you are notified that you have been matched with a child.

You are also entitled to:

  • paid time off to meet the child prior to placement;

  • paid time off work to attend up to five pre-adoption appointments. The secondary adopter or partner is entitled to take paid time off to attend up to two pre-adoption appointments. These appointments must be recorded on MyHR as paid Special Leave. This covers the actual time needed to attend the appointments.

  • work or train under the Keeping in Touch Days, if you and your Manager agree (although this is not permitted during the compulsory period of Maternity Leave, that is, the first two weeks after the baby is born - 4 weeks if you work on industrial premises);

  • apply for annual leave in the normal way, to be taken before or after Maternity Leave (refer to Annual Leave Entitlement Policy and Process). Note that Teachers have special conditions (refer to Maternity process for details). RFA Employees should contact their RFA Personnel Appointer regarding their annual leave entitlement.

  • return to the same job on the same terms and conditions after your adoption leave;

  • opt in to Shared Parental Leave; or

  • apply for Extended Special Unpaid Leave (ExSUL)

Next Steps

  • 1

    Please read the Apply For, Approve, Record and Return from Adoption Leave Policy and check that you are first eligible and discuss your intentions with your manager before applying.

    Further advice can be obtained by contacting the DBS Civilian Personnel.

  • 2

    If you are applying for SAP, You must complete HR Form 236: Adoption Statement of Intention (to view the form, right-click the link, click "copy hyperlink" and paste it into Google Chrome). You must submit it at least 28 calendar days before you wish Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) to begin. You must provide a declaration (included on the Statement of Intention Form) that you have chosen to receive SAP rather than Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) and when you want SAP to start.

  • 3

    You must provide the DBS Civilian Personnel with a Matching Certificate no later than seven days after you have received this notification (this can be obtained from the authority arranging your adoption).

    Where a Matching Certificate is not available, then a letter from the local authority or adoption agency providing the same information will suffice.

  • 4

    To end your adoption leave, primary adopters on adoption leave must give your line manager and DBS Civilian Personnel at least eight weeks notice and take two weeks statutory adoption leave. This notice must also be at least one week before the last day of the statutory adoption leave period. Notice must be given using form HR Form 219a: Shared Parental Leave Notice of Intention.

    Adoption leave will end on the date notified, whether or not the adopter returns to work.

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