Adoptive Leave

Under the Adoptive Leave Act 1995, as amended by Adoptive Leave Act 2005 only the adoptive mother is entitled to avail of adoptive leave from employment, except in the case where a male is the sole adopter.


Adoptive Leave Entitlements
  • All employed adopting mothers and sole male adopters are entitled to a minimum period of 24 consecutive weeks adoptive leave, subject to certain notification requirements and to evidence of placement of the child.
  • The Social Welfare Acts provide for the payment of an adoptive benefit to employees taking adoptive leave who satisfy certain PRSI contribution conditions on their own insurance record.
  • Adopting parents are also entitled to time off during working hours without loss of pay to attend preparation classes and pre-adoption meetings with social workers / HSE officials required during pre-adoption process.
  • In addition to the minimum period of adoptive leave, you may avail of up to 16 consecutive week’s additional unpaid adoptive leave, following immediately on the period of adoptive leave.
  • In order to avail of this Additional Adoptive Leave, you must notify the Human Resources Department, in writing at least four weeks before the end of your Adoptive Leave, indicating the dates of the Additional Adoptive Leave. (You may notify the Human Resources Department, of your intention to take Additional Unpaid Adoptive Leave at the same time as notifying it of your intention to take Adoptive Leave.)


Application Process/ Notification Requirements
  • You should first of all inform your Principal/Director/Co-Ordinator/Manager of your intent to avail of Adoptive Leave (to allow for adequate time to recruit a replacement, where appropriate).
  • Contact Human Resources Department to discuss leave dates.
  • Submit an application in writing to the Chief Executive at least six weeks before you intend to take leave.
  • A certificate of placement must be supplied to the Human Resources Department, as soon as is reasonably practicable, but not later than four weeks after the date of placement.


Foreign Adoptions
  • In the case of a foreign adoption, some or all of the 16 weeks additional leave may be taken before the date of placement, for the purposes of familiarisation with the child. During this period, there is no entitlement to Social Welfare Adoptive Benefit.
  • An eligible employee must notify the Chief Executive, at least four weeks in advance of the intention to take Adoptive Leave.
  • Supply written details of the expected date of placement together with a copy of the ‘declaration of suitability’ before the commencement of Adoptive Leave or Additional Adoptive Leave, whichever is the earlier. Particulars of the placement must be provided as soon as is reasonably practicable thereafter.


Apply on CoreHR here

Employees to include placement date in the ‘comments’ section.  All original documentation to be submitted to the HR Department.

Any further queries in relation to Adoptive Leave Entitlements, please contact the Human Resources Department :

Ann Lennon (


Karen Hanrahan (


Name Downloads
Circular 0054/2019 Chapter Three (page 62) – Adoptive Leave Scheme – Post Primary Teachers
Circular 0019/2013 Adoptive Leave SNA’s
Circular 0065/2016 Adoptive Leave for all staff other than Teachers and SNA’s
Circular 0060/2018 Breast Feeding Breaks for Teachers