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What to do if 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.


Talk to your department head or manager and your local HR representative about your options for paid and unpaid leave.

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.


Find out if you’re eligible for 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 you have benefits coverage during your leave.

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


After your child comes home: Update your benefits.

Enroll your child. You have 31 days to add your child to your benefits. The 31-day period starts the day you take physical custody of your child or the day you have the legal right to control your child's health care, whichever is later. You can make changes through your UCPath online account. 

You also may enroll in the Health and/or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA). If you’re already enrolled in an FSA, you can increase your contributions. If you're enrolled in the UC Health Savings Plan, you may start, change or increase your HSA contributions at any time. UC's contribution is determined at the beginning of each year and will not be adjusted mid-year when adding a family member changes your coverage level to family coverage.

Update your beneficiaries. This is a good time to review your beneficiary designations for your benefits, too. You can update beneficiaries for the UC Retirement Plan (including Pension Choice), life insurance and AD&D by signing in to your account on UC Retirement At Your Service (UCRAYS). Update your Savings Choice, 403(b), 457(b) and DC Plan beneficiaries by signing in to your account on myUCretirement.com. If you're enrolled in the UC Health Savings Plan, update your HSA beneficiary with HealthEquity. Call them at 1-866-212-4729 for assistance.

Set up payroll deductions for college savings. You can arrange for payroll deductions for contributions to ScholarShare, California’s college savings plan.


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 Care Advantage and its Sittercity database of childcare resources. Whether you need full-time care or back-up 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.