The federal deputy Catherine Fonck has submitted a proposition for a bill to prolong adoption leave to make it the same as maternity leave, said the association “Maternity leave for all” (Le congé maternité pour tous) on Tuesday. This association was started by three adoptive mothers who criticize a “discriminatory” legislation.
“No objective reason can justify different bonding times for adoptive and natural children. On the contrary, adoptive children have suffered abandonment or separation. This period to adjust to a new home is necessary to create a connection, learn trust, feel secure with the new family”, states Catherine Fonck, who has tried to change the legislation before.
The humanist deputy’s proposed bill will “prolong adoption leave to 15 weeks, to be taken in the two months that follow the child arriving in the family. It also plans for two extra weeks in the case of several children being adopted at once and doubles the leave if the child is disabled”, says the press release.
The association “Maternity leave for all” sent an open letter to the federal government last weekend. It calls for an urgent change in the law. Today, adoption leave is six weeks if the child is less than three years old when they arrive and four weeks if they are between 3 and 8 years old. No leave is available if the child is over 8 years old. In 2013, 235 children were adopted.
“Bonding is an essential step for both parents and children. However, it appears that the legislator has only taken into consideration the time necessary to adjust to possible time differences and for a few logistical adaptations, without worrying about the specific needs of an adopted child”, says the association, which already has 1,200 “likes” on its Facebook page.
Sarah Johansson (Source: Belga)