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  1. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    681
    I am not sure how it works in other countries. In the US, you get paid maternity leave only if you paid into private temporary disability insurance, or if your employer offers that particular perk out of the goodness of their hearts. You can't get temporary disability payments for an adoption, it is really only for recovery from childbirth. You can get FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) of up to twelve weeks for a birth or an adoption or any medical crisis that happens in your family. This is not paid leave at all, though, they are simply required to leave your job open for at least twelve weeks. You also have to exhaust all of your vacation and sick days first before the federal leave kicks in. So if you take the full twelve weeks, you are usually coming back with zero days off coming to you. This can be very stressful w. a new baby. Most working moms I know took only six weeks, which is the amount that you can usually get the disability payments for. If you take maternity leave and then decide not to return to your job, you have to either pay your employer back for your health insurance costs or return to work for some specified period before quitting. I think I remember this being six months, at my employer.

  2. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    4,598
    @tarynkay beat me to it-- the US is vastly different from other developed countires, in that nearly all benefits are provided through one's employer (i.e. out of their pockets) rather than by the government. Hence the incredibly patchwork, piecemeal, widely varying types of insurance plans, medical/family leave, retirements accounts, etc that we all have. And child care is *entirely* free market; there are some subsidies to low-income families but they're very paltry. It can be an enormous financial stress on a smaller employer to eat the costs of a salary & insurance for someone not working. Most places, if you haven't been there for a full year, you're not entitled to any paid leave whatsoever.

    It is very tough, and I think it's why the US has a lower proportion of working mothers (60%) than Western Europe, the UK & Ireland, Canada, and Australia/NZ [I think France is the highest at 80% but don't quote me on that]. However, there is a flip side-- the glass ceiling has been much more effectively shattered in the US; women who work still lag behind men in terms of their attainments and eventual leadership positions but are much farther ahead of women in the aforementioned countries. If women take only 6wks off for childbearing, rather than a full year, they're not out of the workforce as long, they aren't seen as potential liabilities, they can be trusted to manage big projects or otherwise get into 'irreplaceable' roles, etc.

    And despite the seemingly draconian anti-family policies, the US still has a higher birthrate than every other developed country (even looking only at the birth rate for the native-born population, or even just the native-born Caucasian population).
    Blade, MD

    XY: Antoine Raphael
    XX: Cassia Viviane Noor

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    كنوز الصحراء الشرقية Hayat _ Qamar _ Sahar _ Maysan _ Farah / Altair _ Fahd _ Faraj _ Khalil _ Tariq

  3. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    1,109
    Quote Originally Posted by blade View Post
    @tarynkay beat me to it-- the US is vastly different from other developed countires, in that nearly all benefits are provided through one's employer (i.e. out of their pockets) rather than by the government. Hence the incredibly patchwork, piecemeal, widely varying types of insurance plans, medical/family leave, retirements accounts, etc that we all have. And child care is *entirely* free market; there are some subsidies to low-income families but they're very paltry. It can be an enormous financial stress on a smaller employer to eat the costs of a salary & insurance for someone not working. Most places, if you haven't been there for a full year, you're not entitled to any paid leave whatsoever.

    It is very tough, and I think it's why the US has a lower proportion of working mothers (60%) than Western Europe, the UK & Ireland, Canada, and Australia/NZ [I think France is the highest at 80% but don't quote me on that]. However, there is a flip side-- the glass ceiling has been much more effectively shattered in the US; women who work still lag behind men in terms of their attainments and eventual leadership positions but are much farther ahead of women in the aforementioned countries. If women take only 6wks off for childbearing, rather than a full year, they're not out of the workforce as long, they aren't seen as potential liabilities, they can be trusted to manage big projects or otherwise get into 'irreplaceable' roles, etc.

    And despite the seemingly draconian anti-family policies, the US still has a higher birthrate than every other developed country (even looking only at the birth rate for the native-born population, or even just the native-born Caucasian population).
    Yep. The maternity leave/care in the US is just plain sad. Working class families rely on family and friends to help take care of their children while working, and the very meager help from the government for daycare vouchers. If you qualify for daycare assistance, they give you a set number of hours your child has to be in daycare and if they aren't there, you will lose your vouchers. As an example, a friend of mine who works 40 hours a week at a mega corporation (lets call them...Fal-Mart ) still qualifies for daycare assistance because she doesn't make enough money to pay for daycare out of pocket even though she has a full time job. Her kids are mandated to be in daycare for a minimum of 36 hours a week. So if my friend drops a shift, or is sick and has to stay home, she still has to get up and take her kids to daycare for the day or she will lose her help. So sometimes on her days off, she has to sit at home alone while her children are unnecessarily in daycare. It's a sad, inhumane situation and it is the reality for millions of Americans. We were discussing daycare options the other day because Rowan needs socialization with other kids and adults, and after looking up the costs (we don't qualify for any assistance) it just isn't worth the cost. And then we realized how lucky we were to even have the option to NOT put her in daycare. We decided to join the YMCA so we can utilize the free child care a few times a week while we work out/relax in the sauna.
    My cherished daughter, Rowan Jane. ~b. 10/2011~


    Sawyer ~ Aven ~ Elowen ~ Sage ~ Eilonwy ~ Eleanor
    Morgan ~ Asher ~ ___ ~ ___ ~ Currently trying to fill the blanks...


    Trying for #2 in January 2014.

  4. #32
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    1,109
    To answer the OP's question... We only plan on having 2 kids. Our reasoning is mostly financial, but it's also because I don't think I could handle more than that. Going to 3 would mean a bigger car, possibly a bigger house, 1 more child than the 2 parents could wrangle, feeding 3 kids... Ugh. No thank you. If for some reason America went on a campaign to increase the birthrate and offered money and better assistance, I might consider a 3rd when the other 2 are older. But that's highly unlikely. So definitely just 2 for us. My husband is either getting a vasectomy or I am getting my tubes tied right after the 2nd is born.
    My cherished daughter, Rowan Jane. ~b. 10/2011~


    Sawyer ~ Aven ~ Elowen ~ Sage ~ Eilonwy ~ Eleanor
    Morgan ~ Asher ~ ___ ~ ___ ~ Currently trying to fill the blanks...


    Trying for #2 in January 2014.

  5. #34
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    601
    I always wanted at least two (we currently have one). My DH wants a max of two, so guess how many we settled on?
    Adoption is much easier in the US than many other countries. I don't live there and it's not actually a viable option for us. Just because there are many kids who need good homes, doesn't mean you can actually adopt one! Otherwise we probably would, as it is we'll TTC later this year.
    Mother to two lovely kiddos, Mila Arden and Cato Bennett

    Currently dreaming of...
    Atlas Bram, Abel Octavian, Abel Roscoe
    Lyra Blythe, Delphi Winter, Elowen Sage, Inka Blythe, Anouk Thessaly

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