MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
SUBJECT: "Adoptive Parent Leave for Military Personnel"
In recognition of the fact that you have strongly supported meeting the family and medical leave needs of Federal and other employees, I ask you to consider action to specifically assist military personnel further in balancing the demands of work and family and in serving the very special public interest of encouraging adoptions. Recognizing that the Federal government has an impressive array of family-friendly leave flexibilities for Federal employees, including annual leave, sick leave, sick leave for family care, and leave for bone marrow and organ donation, among others, I urge you to consider the following policy proposal: ADOPTIVE PARENT LEAVE FOR MILITARY PERSONNEL to allow parents to bond with their adoptive child. Personnel may request special leave without pay for up four weeks. (This policy will not apply in the case of step-children or adult adoption.)
More and more children, either in domestic foster care or overseas, including special needs children, are in need of families. Many military families could create a happy, loving environment for such an adoptive child.
This proposal would assist in easing the way in a process fraught with difficulties and disappointments, as it would simultaneously serve to soften the transition for both parents and child. Since many of these children come to their adoptive families with an unknown history, a period of up to one month (four weeks) is a reasonable time to help ensure a successful, happy and healthy transition.
Unfortunately, society emphasizes the differences between adopted and natural-born children, sometimes depicting adopted children, birthparents and/or adoptive parents negatively. Professionals tell us that often children who were adopted begin to wonder (at various ages) why they were adopted and whether they are as good as everyone else du...