Statutory Adoption Leave & Pay | GOV.UK

What is Statutory Adoption Leave & Statutory Adoption Pay?

Statutory Adoption Leave is for those who are employed and adopting a child.

Adopters who meet the employment conditions have the right to up to 26 weeks' Ordinary Adoption Leave, followed by up to 26 weeks' Additional Adoption Leave

Statutory Adoption Pay begins at the same time as your adoption leave and runs for 39 weeks, unless you finish your Statutory Adoption Leave earlier.

Am I eligible?

In order to apply you must be newly matched with a child by an adoption agency and have worked continuously for your current employer for at least 26 weeks before the beginning of the week when you are matched with a child.

You must also earn more than the lower earnings limit (LEL) for National Insurance contributions (LEL is £95 a week)

If you meet the other conditions but earn less than the lower earnings limit (LEL) for National Insurance contributions, you can still take unpaid adoption leave. You might get Income Support while on leave.

You will not be eligible for either if you: arrange a private adoption; become a special guardian; adopt a stepchild; have a child through surrogacy.

How do I apply?


You need to tell your employer that you want to take Statutory Adoption Leave within seven days of being told that you have been matched with a child for adoption. If it is not possible to tell your employer within seven days, you must tell them as soon as possible.

Who to contact

Scan to visit this website


Age Ranges


Save to Shortlist

Last Updated

Last updated:

Skip back to top of page