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Three Minutes: Erin Kiernan on Equality for Adoptive Parents

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Instead of the hospital, some new parents bring their child home from a courtroom. But that doesn`t make the child any less theirs.

A member of our Channel 13 staff thinks equality for adoptive parents shouldn`t end there.

Erin Kiernan believes adoptive parents should be entitled to paid leave and she`s trying to get Iowa lawmakers on board.

A handful of other states offer what Erin describes.

A new bill was filed last week with support from both Iowa democrats and republicans.

To learn more, Erin has set up a Facebook page, “Equality for Adoptive Families."


  • Jackie B

    This should have been done years ago. Paid leave for a new baby is not just recovery time for Mom, it’s also to get baby and parents on the new routine. Paid leave is especially important for an adopted baby to have extra time to bond with the new parents.

      • Linda Vilmain

        You are still not addressing the inequality between benefits for birth moms and adoptive moms. Women may love their work or need to work financially and the benefits should be the same.

      • bjertbjaeger

        Having a child is a choice, adopting is a choice.

        Quite frankly, if you’re that stretched financially that you can’t afford to take a few weeks off, sounds like you might want to be more financially stable before trying to raise a kid.

        I get a kick out of parents demanding special consideration at others expense. Tell you what, you can have your privilege and benefits, if we can have a law that says if your kid turns out to be a criminal, the state gets to seize your assets to recover the costs to society created by you and your kids failures, fair enough?

  • Rosemary Brady

    When you adopt a child you are still a parent, you love and raise a child as if you gave birth. Of course they should have the same benefits…..

  • bjertbjaeger

    Great idea, and employers can pay for by assessing a special payroll tax pn people with children, that way the ones receive the benefit pay for it instead of making everyone else pay for it.

  • marcopolish

    Entitled to paid leave? I already know of numerous adoptive parents who do it for the money subsidy, which is actually already very generous as well as tax free (not all do, I’m saying there are more than a small proportion who do). It’s different when you feel you are owed something, believe me, very different to the kid you now raise and craft into an adult, human, member of society, for the pay. Erin, you’ve always had a bit of a screw loose in my opinion. News readers shouldn’t try to make the news or contribute intellectually, it’s not their forte. Eventually they forget they are really mainly models, and start to think they are Brian Williams.

    • Linda Vilmain

      No need to get nasty. I find it hard to believe you know so many people who adopt for the money. I know lots of adoptive families who do it for love..not one for the money. But adoptive families should have the same rights as biological families. We adopted three and none had money coming with them.

      • bjertbjaeger

        The problem is your claiming “rights” that don’t exist.

        No where in the Constitution of the state of Iowa or the US does it state you’re entitled to take other peoples money to finance your choices.

  • Blondmyk

    The person serving as the parent of any child needs to be treated with the same rights that a biological parent should have. I never even realized that this was an issue, so I’m glad to hear that someone is trying to do something about it. All children need the same care, biological or not, and it makes a parent irresponsible if they cannot give the same kind of care as a biological parent. That this is even an issue is ludicrous!

    • bjertbjaeger

      Tell ya what, if you adopt a special needs child from an institution, one of the many thousands available and wanting a home, you know, the children God has offered to those couples seeking a child, then I don;t mind helping.

      The last adoption spectacle down in Polk County all appeared to be healthy white babies predominantly, you know the ones people essentially bought, while ignoring and rejecting the ones God put before them.

      Not my problem, not my bill, pay you’re own way.

      • bjertbjaeger

        So many assumptions from a typical partisan, none of which would be correct of course, but nice try. You don’t have a “right” to take money from others to subsidize your life choices.

  • Marilyn

    You are already a public figure but opening your life for public scrutiny for a worthy cause is truly admirable. Equality, I vote yes.

  • Chris

    Erin, I understand your plight for the same benefits. What I dont understand is why would this be a big hurdle for you if you truly wanted to be a parent. Parenting is alot of give and take this also comes with finanacial and emotional responsiblities. What I am trying to grasp if I am consumed to being a parent so bad then take a leave of asbsence for 6 weeks your spouse is employed and I just think that if one wants a child then sacrifices need to be made whether you agree on them or not. Parenting can be one of the most rewarding and frustrating times of your life. But I think you will never regret it. Best Wishes

  • Linda Vilmain

    Almost 30 years ago I was denied paid maternity leave when we adopted our first child as a newborn. I could not believe that after working at this financial institution for ten years that they would do this to our family. I feel adoptive families need this time to bond and get in a routine and the same benefits awarded to a new mom who gave birth should be awarded to adoptive moms.

  • Linda Davis

    We adopted 3 children in 82 and in 86 (a set of twins) we worked right through as if we had a new pet! My husband at that time only got a half day off for the adoption! Now the men working are getting maternity leave! Unfair! Time to make changes! Good for you Erin and I hope your dreams come true for a baby! Good things come to those who wait…. My mom use to say that every time a tear would fall due to someone announcing they were pregnant again, then we got the twins! God was good to us,! With the help of two wonderful birth Moms!

  • Linda Vilmain

    Attitudes need to be changed. I had sick leave built up to use for maternity leave but was not allowed to use it because my baby was adopted. I worked hard at this financial institution for ten years and this was the thanks I got. Things need to change! Many progressive countries really care about getting them off to a good start.

      • Linda Vilmain

        No, I didn’t expect them to cater to me. I only expected to be treated like any birth mother. It takes time for a family to bond, no matter what age the child is, and an infant takes a lot of time and care, whether they are with birth parents or adoptive parents.

      • bjertbjaeger

        So you demanded special privilege that only “parents” get.

        How about paid leave to deal with aging parents? Nope, no right there. How about paid sick leave to take care of yourself, nope no right there.

        How about a living wage so everyone can simply afford to take the time off if they need to deal with health issues etc.

        When you go out to eat, exploiting the cheap labor restaraunts use, do you always tip enough so that everyone who played a role in serving you made a living wage, or don;t they have a right to a living wage?

        I mean if you want what you want as a “right”, shouldn;t all those other people get their “rights” too?

  • Suzy

    Good for you Erin. I don’t personally have any adopted children but totally agree with the fact that it shouldn’t matter whether they are your birth children or your chosen children, the parents & the kids deserve that bonding time together!

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