Kentucky has made several changes to its adoption leave law, which take effect June 29 and apply to employers of all sizes. Here’s what these changes mean for you.

First, if an employee asks to take leave for the adoption of a child who is nine years old or younger, you must grant up to six weeks of leave. (Previously, this was required only if the child was six or younger.) If you provide more than six weeks of time off for biological parents to bond with a newborn, you are required to provide the same amount of leave to adoptive parents of children who are nine or younger. You can require employees to put their request in writing.

Second, if you provide paid leave or any other benefits to employees who are biological parents following the birth of a child, you must provide those same benefits to employees following the adoption of a child. For example, if you offer four weeks of paid time off to biological parents, you must also offer four weeks of paid time off to adoptive parents.

The requirements described above don’t apply when a relative or foster parent is adopting a child who is already in their care.

We recommend reviewing your parental leave policies to ensure that biological and adoptive parents are offered the same benefits.

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