Sunday, February 6, 2011

Telling your boss

Now that we have chosen an agency, we are starting on their initial application and I need advice from those who have already gone through this process.

When do you tell your boss? My initial plan was to wait until we were home study approved. I don't think it would go over so well with the circumstances of my job. Here's the thing. I work at a college. Mostly I do research and my job next year will involve a great deal of travel. Which of course would need to be reconsidered if I have maternity leave and even when I go back to work I don't want to leave a 3 month old for an entire week. I also teach some classes, which has its own complications when thinking about having a baby. How do I get someone to cover my class? Is it possible to maybe miss one or two classes around the time of birth and placement and then continue teaching a class that meets once a week (while stopping other work responsibilities)? There have been a few men in my department who did that, but no woman has had a child since I've been there.

The uncertainty of adoption makes this conversation even harder. We are making decisions now about who will teach what class next fall. I don't want to not teach a class in hopes of going on leave in the fall, but then not get a placement for a year.

But the first step of the home study process is getting references. And they want work references. So I think I need to have this discussion soon.


  1. This is something I think about as well, so I'm interested in what people say. We plan on starting the homestudy in April so I only have a little time before I'll have to tell my boss too.

  2. I've read your blog for a while, but never commented. My husband and I adopted our daughter this past summer. I had informed my direct supervisor when we were going through infertility treatments (b/c I had so many appointments, so was missing lots of work!) and I told her when we started the adoption process. I just told her that the process is completely unknown. We could wait for a year or we could be matched tomorrow. Just a couple of weeks before we adopted my supervisor changed (to the director of the organization I work for). I just filled her in and said we were in the process of adopting (our homestudy was already done by this point). I told her the same thing--we have no idea when we might get matched. And once we are matched we would probably only have a few months before the baby came (at most). We even talked about the fact that we could get a call that there was a baby today, but that wasn't likely. Just a couple of weeks later we got a call about a 5 week old baby. Less than 24 hours later we brought our daughter home! My bosses and coworkers were so wonderful (so were my husband's--he had told his boss the same thing). It was crazy to call our bosses that morning and say we wouldn't be back at work for a while! I had a couple of trips for work planned that I had to cancel. I took 10 weeks of leave (my husband took 6) and went back part time. My boss has been great, she understands that my family is the most important thing. When I asked to just come back part time I had already thought about my duties and what I would have to give up and how those duties could be covered. I just thought about the questions I knew my boss would ask and came up with a plan. I know we were blessed to have really understanding and supportive bosses and coworkers.


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