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
Adoptive Benefit is paid for a continuous period of 24 weeks from the date
of placement of your child. You should apply for Adoptive Benefit 5 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
Taxation of Adoptive Benefit
Adoptive Benefit is taxable from 1 July 2013 for all claimants. Adoptive
Benefit is taxed in the same way as Maternity Benefit. Universal Social Charge
and PRSI are not payable. You can read about how Maternity Benefit is taxed in
the document, Taxation
of social welfare payments. You can also get more information from Revenue
of Maternity Benefit.
From 6 January 2014 the minimum and maximum rates of Maternity Benefit and
Adoptive Benefit will be standardised at €230 per week for new applicants.
This will result in an increase of up to €12.20 for those receiving less than
€230 per week and a reduction of up to €32 per week for all other
claimants. The change will apply to new claimants. Existing claimants will not
be affected. This provision requires legislation and is not yet in effect.
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 2013, the relevant tax year is 2011 and the tax year
immediately following the relevant tax year is 2012.
- 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 2013, the relevant tax year is 2011 and the tax
year immediately before the relevant tax year is 2010.
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
2013, the tax year immediately before the relevant tax year is 2010.
- 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 2013, the tax year immediately following the relevant tax
year is 2012.
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 the first Monday in the next calendar year. For example,
the relevant tax year is 2011 for claims made in 2013.
Insurance from employment in another country
If you had insurable employment in a country covered by EU Regulations or in
a country with which Ireland has a Bilateral Social Security Agreement 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 due.
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 Health Service
Executive (HSE) Area 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.
For new Maternity Benefit claims from 6 January 2013 a standard rate of
€230.00 per week will be paid.
For claims in respect of a period of maternity leave which began before 6
January 2014, the following applies:
If you are employed, your weekly rate of Adoptive Benefit is calculated by
dividing your gross income in the relevant tax year by the number of weeks you
actually worked in that year. You may get 80% of this amount weekly, subject to
a minimum payment and a maximum payment. The relevant tax year is the last
complete income tax year before the Benefit Year in which your adoptive leave
If you are self-employed, your weekly rate of Adoptive Benefit is calculated
by dividing your gross income in the relevant tax year by 52 weeks - 80% of
this amount is payable weekly, subject to a minimum payment and a maximum
Rate of payment in 2013:
Rate of payment for claims beginning on or after 6 January
Half-rate Adoptive Benefit is payable if you are getting any of
the following payments:
Under the Maternity Protection Act 1994, a woman who qualifies for Adoptive
Benefit is entitled to claim Family
Income Supplement (FIS).
How Adoptive Benefit is paid
Adoptive Benefit can be paid directly into your bank or building society
account (this is known as Direct Payment) or by cheque which is posted to you
each week on a Tuesday.
How to apply
To apply fill in Form AB1 for Adoptive
Benefit (pdf). Return the form together with all relevant certificates 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