It is a payment to an employed or self-employed person who adopts a child and is:
on adoptive leave from work
covered by social insurance (PRSI)
You will be paid Adoptive Benefit for 24 weeks from the date you adopted your child. You will not get Adoptive Benefit for the full 24 weeks unless your adoptive leave begins on the adoption date.
If you begin your adoptive leave after the adoption date, you will lose some of your Adoptive Benefit.
You must tell your employer you are planning to take adoptive leave at least four weeks beforehand.
How to qualify
To qualify for Adoptive Benefit, you must pay social insurance (PRSI) contributions at Class A, E, H or S (self-employed).
If you are a member of the Defence Forces and you pay PRSI at Class H, you are insured for Adoptive Benefit, but it is not payable while you are in service.
You must also have a certificate from your registered adoption agency or Tusla
(the Child and Family Agency) that confirms the adoption.
To certify your leave, get a certificate of placement from your registered adoption agency or Tusla
(the Child and Family Agency).
If you are adopting from outside Ireland, instead of the certificate of placement you need a copy of your Declaration of Suitability from the Adoption Authority of Ireland.
Rate of payment
Adoptive Benefit is €274 per week for 24 weeks.
Adoptive Benefit is paid directly into your current or deposit account at your bank or building society. It cannot be paid into a mortgage account.
Your employer may continue to pay you in full when you are on adoptive leave. They may require you to have your Adoptive Benefit paid to them, and you can choose to do this.
If you have dependants, you may be able to get a higher rate of Adoptive Benefit. When you apply, your rate of Adoptive Benefit (excluding increases for dependants) is compared to the rate of Illness Benefit
(including increases for dependants) that would be paid to you if you were absent from work through illness. The higher of the two rates is paid to you.
If you pay tax, you will have to pay tax on Adoptive Benefit. You will not have to pay the Universal Social Charge (USC) or social insurance (PRSI).
If you are an employee, you should apply for Adoptive Benefit at least six weeks before you plan to go on adoptive leave.
If you are self-employed, you should apply at least 12 weeks before you plan to go on leave.
In certain cases, you may apply after you adopt your child. But if you do not apply within six months of the date you adopt your child, you may lose your Adoptive Benefit.
To apply, complete the application form at the end of this page and send it to:
Adoptive Benefit Section
Department of Social Protection, McCarter's Road, Buncrana, Donegal, Co. Donegal, F93 CH79