Adoptive Benefit is a payment to an adopting mother or a single male who
adopts a child. It is available to both employees and self-employed people. You
must meet certain social insurance (PRSI) contribution conditions on your own
insurance record. Adoptive Benefit can only be paid from the day your child is
placed with you (the date of placement).
Adoptive Benefit is paid for a continuous period of 24 weeks from the date
of placement of your child. You will not get Adoptive Benefit for the full 24
weeks unless your adoptive leave begins on the date of placement. If you begin
your adoptive leave after the date of placement, you will lose some of
your Adoptive Benefit entitlement. You should apply for Adoptive Benefit 6
weeks before you intend to go on adoptive
If you think you have been wrongly refused Adoptive Benefit or you are
unhappy about a decision of a Social Welfare Deciding Officer about your
entitlements, you can appeal this
The Paternity Leave
and Benefit Act 2016 introduced a new Paternity Benefit together with statutory
paternity leave of 2 weeks. The combined package of paternity leave and
Paternity Benefit can start at any time within the first 6 months following
birth or adoption of a child. The provisions apply to births or adoptions on or
after 1 September 2016.
Taxation of Adoptive Benefit
Adoptive Benefit is taxable from 1 July 2013 for all claimants. Universal
Social Charge and PRSI are not payable. You can read about how Adoptive Benefit
is taxed in the document, Taxation
of social welfare payments. You can also get more information from Revenue
of Adoptive Benefit.
If you are employed, to qualify for Adoptive Benefit you
must be in employment which is covered by the Adoptive
Leave Act 1995 immediately before the first day of your adoptive leave and
have at least:
- 39 weeks PRSI paid in the 12-month period before the date of placement of
- 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
immediately following the relevant tax year. For example, if you are going
on adoptive leave in 2016, the relevant tax year is 2014 and the tax year
immediately following the relevant tax year is 2015.
- 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 2016, the relevant tax year is 2014 and the tax
year immediately before the relevant tax year is 2013.
insurance (PRSI) contributions at Classes A, E and H count for Adoptive
Benefit. Adoptive Benefit is not payable to serving members of the Defence
Forces who pay PRSI at Class H.
If you were in insurable self-employment before starting insurable
employment (as an employee), your PRSI contributions (Class S) may help you
qualify for Adoptive Benefit if you do not satisfy the employee PRSI conditions
as stated above.
If you are self-employed, you must have:
- 52 PRSI contributions paid at Class S in the relevant tax year
- 52 PRSI contributions paid at Class S in the tax year immediately before
the relevant tax year. For example, if you are going on adoptive leave in
2016, the tax year immediately before the relevant tax year is 2013.
- 52 qualifying PRSI contributions paid at Class S in the tax year
immediately following relevant tax year. For example, if you are going on
adoptive leave in 2016, the tax year immediately following the relevant tax
year is 2015.
If you are now self-employed but you were in insurable employment before you
became self-employed, your PRSI contributions (Class A, E and H) in that
employment may help you qualify for Adoptive Benefit if you do not
satisfy the self-employment conditions as stated above.
The relevant tax year is the second last complete tax year before the
Benefit year in which your adoptive leave starts. The Benefit year begins on
the first Monday in January in each calendar year and ends on the Sunday
immediately before the first Monday in the next calendar year. For example, the
relevant tax year is 2014 for claims made in 2016.
Insurance from employment in another country
If you had insurable employment in a country covered by EU Regulations and
you have paid at least one full rate PRSI contribution in Ireland, you may
combine your insurance record in that country with your Irish PRSI
contributions to help you qualify for Adoptive Benefit. In this case, you
should send your application for Adoptive Benefit 12 weeks before your baby is
More information is available in our document about combining
your social insurance contributions from abroad.
A certificate of placement must be submitted by you, as evidence of
placement of your child. You must request this from the registered adoption
agency or the
Child and Family Agency which arranges the placement.
In the case of a foreign adoption, you must submit a copy of the Declaration
of Suitability issued to you by the Adoption Authority of Ireland. Payment of
Adoptive Benefit cannot be made until the Certificate of Placement or
Declaration of Suitability, as appropriate, is received.
Rate of payment in 2016
Half-rate Adoptive Benefit is payable if you are getting any of
the following payments:
Full-rate Adoptive Benefit cannot be paid for the same period as any other
social welfare payment except Disablement Benefit, Guardian’s payments, Family Income Supplement (FIS) and
How Adoptive Benefit is paid
Adoptive Benefit can be paid directly into your bank or building society
account (this is known as Direct Payment).
How to apply
To apply fill in Form AB1 for Adoptive
Benefit (pdf). Return the form together with all relevant documentation to
the Department of Social Protection at the address listed below. This form is
also available from your social welfare
local office or by contacting Adoptive Benefit Section at the address or
telephone number below.
Your social welfare local office can help you to complete the form. You may
also contact the Adoptive Benefit Section using the contact information below
if you have any queries.
Where to apply
Adoptive Benefit Section
Department of Social Protection
Tel:(01) 471 5898
Locall:1890 690 690