Why? Leave for Adoption or Foster Care.

More why employees can take a leave.  Let’s go back to the why just to refresh our recollection.  If you are a covered employer you have to grant leave to an eligible employee for 6 basic reasons:

(a) Circumstances qualifying for leave. Employers covered by FMLA are required to grant leave to eligible employees:

(1) For birth of a son or daughter, and to care for the newborn child (see §825.120);

(2) For placement with the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care (see §825.121);

(3) To care for the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent with a serious health condition (see §§825.113 and 825.122);

(4) Because of a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the employee’s job (see §§825.113 and 825.123);

(5) Because of any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a military member on covered active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to covered active duty status (see §§825.122 and 825.126); and

(6) To care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness if the employee is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of the covered servicemember. See §§825.122 and 825.127.

29 CFR §825.112(a).

We have covered the serious health condition leave, we have covered the birth of a child.  Now let’s talk about placement for adoption or foster care.  You are not going to be surprised to learn that leave for adoption and foster care is very similar to leave for birth of a child.  For example:

(a) General rules. Eligible employees are entitled to FMLA leave for placement with the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care as follows:

(1) Employees may take FMLA leave before the actual placement or adoption of a child if an absence from work is required for the placement for adoption or foster care to proceed. For example, the employee may be required to attend counseling sessions, appear in court, consult with his or her attorney or the doctor(s) representing the birth parent, submit to a physical examination, or travel to another country to complete an adoption. The source of an adopted child (e.g., whether from a licensed placement agency or otherwise) is not a factor in determining eligibility for leave for this purpose.

 29 CFR §825.121(a)(1).

See, like for a birth, you can take leave for the placement of the child.  You can also take leave before the placement for court dates or counseling sessions or doctors’ appointments or appointments with a lawyer.  And you can also take time off to travel to pick up your new child.

The leave for birth or adoption has to be taken within 12 months of the date of the placement. And as is the case with the birth of a child, parents who work for the same employer get a combined total of 12 weeks to be with a healthy placed child.  But the parents still get up to 12 weeks each for a child with a serious health condition.  Finally, leave for a healthy placed child can only be taken intermittently or on a reduced schedule if the employer agrees to let the employee it take it that way.  If the leave is for a serious health condition for the placed child, on the other hand, the employee gets to take the leave intermittently or on a reduced schedule if it is medically necessary, even if the employer objects.

29 CFR §825.121(a)(2-4) and (b