BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - A bill unanimously cleared the House Education Committee today that would allow public and charter schools to provide up to 30 days of leave for female employees who adopt children.
Marketa Walters, secretary of the Department of Children and Family Services, testified in favor of the bill. Walters said a record 771 children were adopted in Louisiana last year.
The bill only allows women to be eligible for adoptive leave. The bill's author, Rep. Rick Edmonds, R-Baton Rouge, claims he simply mirrored the language of the state's maternity leave statute.
One drastic difference between maternity leave and adoptive leave is that biological parents are generally given six to eight weeks off following childbirth. Edmonds indicated that 30 days for an adoptive parent was a starting point.
Edmonds did not say anything when Rep. Patricia Smith, D-Baton Rouge, pointed out that single fathers are legally allowed to adopt children in Louisiana.