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What to do when you’re

Adopting a child

Congratulations! Here’s everything you need to know about taking time off work, enrolling your new child in benefits, and resources UC offers to help you take care of the newest member of your family.

Understand your leave options.


Federal and state laws and UC policies determine how much time you may be able to take off to bond with your new child and whether your benefits continue, and for how long, during your leave.

Depending on your situation, you may be able to receive pay for all or part of your leave — through the Pay for Family Care and Bonding Program and/or through paid time off (such as sick leave, vacation days, PTO or departmental comp plan benefits) available to you.

Because there are so many factors to consider in planning your parental bonding leave, it can get complicated. Explore UC’s resources to understand how leave and pay provisions work together, but it’s also important to talk to your supervisor and the individual or office coordinating your leave as soon as possible.

Look into UC’s Adoption Assistance Plan.


If you are, you may be able to request reimbursement for up to $5,000 of qualified expenses after your adoption is finalized. Check out all of the rules and details to make the most of this benefit.

Make sure your benefits continue.

Talk to your local HR representative to ensure your benefits continue while you’re on leave.

After your child comes home: Update your benefits.


For most benefits, you must enroll your new family member within 31 days of the date they join your family or meet all the eligibility requirements. If you don’t enroll your family member during the PIE, you can enroll him or her during Open Enrollment. You may also enroll your family member in your medical plan only at any time with a 90-day waiting period.

When you return to work: Re-enroll in benefits.

Within 31 days of your return to work, you’ll need to restart benefits you chose not to continue during your leave. If your leave was less than 120 days, you may re-enroll yourself (and your eligible family members) in the same plans, with the same coverage levels as before. After a longer leave, you may enroll in any UC-sponsored plans for which you’re eligible.

Find childcare.


Most UC faculty and staff have free access to Bright Horizons Enhanced Family Supports and its Sittercity database of childcare resources. Whether you need full-time care or backup care in an emergency, you may be able to find the person you need using Sittercity. UC gives you free access; then you find the caregiver and make arrangements for care and payment.

Your campus may have onsite childcare or information on local childcare resources.