Adoption UK is dismayed at the Government’s latest response to the inequalities in employment rights for self-employed adopters, special guardians, and kinship carers. 

Thousands of self-employed adopters and special guardians are missing the right afforded to birth parents to spend vital time supporting and bonding with their child in the early stages. Adoption UK recently wrote to the children’s minister urging government action. You can read our letter here. 

 The Government has rejected a recommendation in a Petition Committee’s report that entitlements to employment leave and financial support for new parents be extended to groups that currently do not have access to these, including self-employed adoptive parents.  

The report, Impact of covid-19 on new parents: one year on, was published in October 2021, and followed the Committee’s inquiry  and first report in 2020 into the impact of covid-19 on new parents. In July 2021, a year on from the publication of its first report, the Committee took further evidence  from campaigners and experts to assess progress against the recommendations made in the report.  

Alison Woodhead, Adoption UK’s director of public affairs and communications, said: “Having given evidence to both inquiries we are dismayed by the Government’s decision not to extend parental leave and pay entitlements to all new parents and guardians. Those who are raising children who cannot live with their birth parents have a challenging job and deserve the Government’s full support. 

“This response is particularly disappointing after the Government acknowledged in its adoption strategy, published last year, the need to listen to the voices of adopted people and adopters – apparently that doesn’t include those who are self-employed.”  

The Committee has scheduled a debate on support for new adoptive parents, which was prompted by the e-petition, Make self-employed people eligible for statutory adoption pay - Petitions (, in Westminster Hall on 21st March. 

The full Government response to the Committee’s report can be found here.