Work Life Balance

Gay Parents In Australia Will Get To Sample That Sweet Heterosexual Paid Parental Leave

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I do love the smell of federal paid parental leave in the morning! Especially when we’re talking all parents, regardless of sexual orientation.

The Huffington Post reports that as of January 2013, gay parents in Australia will be fully eligible for paid parental leave. Although Australia has had paid parental leave for daddies, this is the first time that  “paid parental leave for fathers will be extended to dads whose partner is another dad.” The same goes for double mommies too:

A government press release introducing the new “Dad and Partner Pay” scheme explains that a mom or dad not nominated to be the primary carer of a child will be allowed two weeks parental leave to the value of about $630. The paid leave is applicable to surrogacy, adoption and other arrangements with the birth mother.

Both heterosexual and gay couples will be permitted to partake in the new policy. Under the original, one partner (including same-sex ones) were permitted 18 weeks of of parental leave. However, this new adjustment allows for even the non-primary caregiver to “take more time off in those critical early months to bond with their baby,” according to Jenny Macklin, the Minister for Families, who introduced the policy.

It’s also noteworthy that this motion is coming from a country in which same-sex marriage is banned and same-sex adoption is legal only in pockets. But despite those differences, paid parental leave is a concept that Australia seems to be on the same page about, at least in practice. Conversely, here in the States, our two candidates for president have talked exactly zip on even entertaining such family friendly policies. As far as the United States goes, paid parental leave is still just a mere fantasy of the parenting blogosphere. Meanwhile, Australian parents are looking at a very happy new year.

(photo: Lisa S./ Shutterstock)

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