Adoptive Benefit

What is Adoptive Benefit?

Adoptive Benefit is a payment made to a parent who is on adoptive leave from work and covered by social insurance (PRSI).

Adoptive Benefit is paid for 24 weeks from the date you adopted your child.

To get the full 24 weeks of Adoptive Benefit, your adoptive leave must begin on the date of adoption.

If a couple are adopting a child, only one parent can apply for Adoptive Benefit. The parent not getting Adoptive Benefit can apply for paternity leave and Paternity Benefit.

You should apply for Adoptive Benefit 6 weeks before you plan to go on adoptive leave (12 weeks if you are self-employed).

If you think you have been wrongly refused Adoptive Benefit, you can appeal this decision.

How to qualify for Adoptive Benefit

To get Adoptive Benefit, you must:

  • Have enough PRSI (social insurance) contributions
  • Have certified adoptive leave from work if you are an employee – see ‘How to apply’ below
  • Provide a Certificate of Placement (for domestic adoption) or Declaration of Suitability (for intercountry adoption) – see ‘How to apply’ below

PRSI (social insurance) contributions

Adoptive Benefit is paid to a parent who has a certain number of paid PRSI contributions and who is in insurable employment up to the first day of their adoptive leave.

If a couple are adopting a child, only one parent can apply for Adoptive Benefit and adoptive leave. Only the social insurance (PRSI) contributions of the parent applying for Adoptive Benefit are used.

Your PRSI contributions can be from employment or self-employment. The PRSI classes that count for Adoptive Benefit are A, E, H and S

Members of the Defence Forces who pay PRSI at Class H are insured for Adoptive Benefit, but it is not paid while they are in service.

Time spent on the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) and the COVID-19 Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) are treated as if you continued to make insurance contributions at your normal social insurance class.

Number of PRSI contributions you need

If you are employed, to qualify for Adoptive Benefit you must be in insurable employment immediately before the first day of your adoptive leave and have at least:

  • 39 weeks PRSI paid in the 12-month period before the adoption date of your child

Or

  • 39 weeks PRSI paid since first starting work and at least 39 weeks PRSI paid or credited in the relevant tax year or in the year after the relevant tax year. For example, if you are going on adoptive leave in 2022, the relevant tax year is 2020 and the tax year after the relevant tax year is 2021.

Or

  • 26 weeks PRSI paid in the relevant tax year and at least 26 weeks PRSI paid in the tax year before the relevant tax year. For example, if you are going on adoptive leave in 2022, the relevant tax year is 2020 and the tax year before the relevant tax year is 2019.

If you do not meet these PRSI conditions and you were self-employed before starting work as an employee, you might meet the contribution conditions for the self-employed in the relevant tax year – see below.

If you are self-employed, you must have:
  • 52 PRSI contributions paid at Class S in the relevant tax year

Or

  • 52 PRSI contributions paid at Class S in the tax year before the relevant tax year. For example, if you are going on adoptive leave in 2022, the tax year before the relevant tax year is 2019.

Or

  • 52 qualifying PRSI contributions paid at Class S in the tax year after relevant tax year. For example, if you are going on adoptive leave in 2022, the tax year after the relevant tax year is 2021.

If you do not meet these PRSI conditions and you were in insurable employment before becoming self-employed, you might meet the contribution conditions for employees in the relevant tax year – see PRSI conditions for employees above.

PRSI Class S contributions for a particular year are not awarded until you have paid tax due for that year. To qualify for Adoptive Benefit, your income tax and PRSI liabilities (importantly for the relevant tax year) must be paid.

If you worked in another country

If you were employed in the UK or a country covered by EU Regulations and you have paid at least one full-rate PRSI contribution in Ireland, you can combine your insurance record in that country with your Irish PRSI contributions to help you qualify for Adoptive Benefit. To do this, you must be in insurable employment in Ireland currently and have paid your most recent PRSI contribution in Ireland.

How long is Adoptive Benefit paid?

Adoptive Benefit is paid for 24 weeks from the date you adopted your child. To get the full 24 weeks of Adoptive Benefit, your adoptive leave must begin on the date of adoption.

You can take a further 16 weeks of unpaid adoptive leave immediately after your 24 weeks’ paid Adoptive Benefit. This period is not covered by Adoptive Benefit but you can get a credited social insurance contribution for each week of unpaid leave you take (up to the maximum of 16).

Rate of Adoptive Benefit

Rate of payment 2022
Adoptive Benefit Weekly rate
Standard payment €250

Extra payment for partner and child

If you have an adult or child dependants, the standard rate of Adoptive Benefit is compared to the rate of Illness Benefit that would be paid to you if you were absent from work through illness. The higher of the two rates is paid to you.

Taxation of Adoptive Benefit

Adoptive Benefit is taxed. You can get more information from Revenue on taxation of Adoptive Benefit.

How Adoptive Benefit is paid

Adoptive Benefit is paid directly into your bank account. It is paid each week in advance.

If your employer is paying you while you are on adoptive leave from work, you can have it paid directly into your employer's bank account.

Payment abroad

EU/EEA citizens: Citizens of the EU/EEA and Switzerland can get Adoptive Benefit for any period of their adoptive leave spent in another EU/EEA country (including Switzerland). You can also travel outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland and get Adoptive Benefit for a maximum of 6 weeks.

Non-EU/EEA citizens: Citizens of countries other than the EU/EEA or Switzerland can travel anywhere abroad and get Adoptive Benefit for a maximum of 6 weeks.

You must inform the Adoptive Benefit Section that you intend to go abroad.

Half-rate Adoptive Benefit with another social welfare payment

Half-rate Adoptive Benefit can be paid, if you qualify for Adoptive Benefit and you are getting any one of the following payments:

If you are providing full-time care to another person, you may get half-rate Carer's Allowance with your full-rate Adoptive Benefit.

Working Family Payment (WFP) and full-rate Adoptive Benefit and can be paid at the same time.

How to apply for Adoptive Benefit

To apply fill in Form AB1 for Adoptive Benefit (pdf).

If you are an employee, your employer must fill in Part 4 of the form. You must give your employer a Certificate of Placement (for domestic adoptions) or Declaration of Suitability (for intercounry adoptions) confirming the adoption. You must do this within 4 weeks of the date that the child comes into your care.

If you are an employee or self-employed, you must also give a Certificate of Placement (for domestic adoptions) or Declaration of Suitability (for intercountry adoptions) to the Adoptive Benefit section in the DSP.

You will not be paid Adoptive Benefit until the DSP gets either a Certificate of Placement or Declaration of Suitability.

You can find out more about the documentation you need for Adoptive Benefit.

Where to apply

Adoptive Benefit Section

Department of Social Protection
McCarter's Road
Buncrana
Donegal
Ireland

Tel: (01) 471 5898
Locall: 0818 690 690 (Note: the rates charged for using 0818 (Lo-call) numbers may vary)

Page edited: 27 April 2022