In a landmark move, the Karnataka government has announced that employees who adopt children are eligible for maternity and paternity leaves on par with biological parents. As per the policy for biological parents, mothers avail 180 days of maternity leave, while fathers are granted 15 days.
“The government has recognised that even adoptive parents need time to bond with the child. In certain cases there might be a single parent adopting too. Keeping this in view, it was important to extend maternity leave benefits for all,” an official, who did not want to be named told Deccan Herald.
This leave is applicable to adopted children below the age of one year. The state government had passed an order in this regard in February 2020. “The state government’s decision will definitely benefit many employees. Since the order was first issued ahead of the onset of the pandemic last year, not many employees are aware about it. We need to create more awareness about the provision,” TR Vedavathi, treasurer, Akhila Karnataka State Government Employees Association, told the same portal.
She also addresses the stigma that makes mothers hesitant to declare adoption officially. “If they have adopted at an older age, there is still some stigma about announcing it and they may opt for using their own leaves. Awareness has to be created even about this issue,” she adds.
Child rights activist Vasudeva Sharma opined, “This will help emphasise that adopted children are just like biological children. In several instances, people even shift houses after they adopt, owing to the stigma. The government’s move is a welcome step in fighting this stigma.”
*All pictures for representational purposes only.