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New Fathers Turning Down Paternity Leave

By Leslie Fineberg on June 20, 2013

Illinois Family LawMore and more companies are allowing new fathers time away from work to help care for newborns, but many are turning down the offer because they are afraid of losing status at work or losing face in light of traditional stereotypes that still exist. As reported in The Wall Street Journal, companies are catching on to paternity leave, but dads? Not to the same degree.

In countries such as Portugal and Sweden, paternity leave has been made mandatory. In America, paternity leave remains brief if taken at all. According to a 2011 Boston College Center for Work and Family study of employees at four Fortune 500 companies, 85 percent of new fathers do take some time off after the birth of a child. The majority, however, take no more than a week or so.

According to University of Oregon sociologist Scott Coltrane, a stigma still exists surrounding men who put being a parent on an equal level with their jobs. The majority of employers still believe in the old standard that the job comes first for males and the children come first for the females who do most if not all the caring for the children.

Some men who choose to take longer paternity leave if offered can face resentment and pressure from colleagues. If they admit to being active caregivers for their children, they face being made fun of at work or being seen as less dedicated to their jobs. Research is demonstrating more and more that longer paternity leave has long-term benefits both for families and for employers.

The Chicago family law firm of Nottage and Ward know that couples sometimes choose adoption as the means to having children. A successful adoption requires careful planning and professional guidance through Illinois adoption law. At Nottage and Ward, we have more than 25 years of experience practicing family law. We understand adoption law in Illinois, and we can guide you through an often complex process. Call us today at (312) 332-2915 to let us answer all your adoption law questions.

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