Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced new extensions to parental leave policies for servicemembers were included as part of the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that passed the Senate and now heads to the President to be signed into law. The extensions Gillibrand fought to include in the NDAA for the first time allow adoptive and LGBT parents in the military up to six weeks of parental leave.
“I’m very pleased that the national defense bill includes a provision to ensure all parents have the opportunity to take sufficient leave to care for their new children,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Every parent regardless of gender or sexual orientation, has a right to take the time to care for their families. I fought to make sure this provision got into the final version of the bill because fathers and adoptive parents were given little to no coverage in parental leave. Now our servicemembers can care for their families at the time children need their caregivers most.”
Gillibrand’s provision would grant fathers and adoptive parents up to six weeks of paid parental leave; previously fathers received leave for only 10 days and an adoptive parent would receive leave for 21 days. This would allow the Department of Defense to let households with two servicemembers make the decision as to who would receive either six weeks or three weeks in parental leave, whether they are birth or adoptive parents.