Biological Moms Get Preferential Treatment Over Parents Who Adopt At Companies Like Yahoo And Google

Alyson Shontell

Maternity and paternity leave policies are vastly improving at some of Silicon Valley's largest tech companies. But for biological moms, they're still much better than they are for dads or parents who adopt.

According to the U.S. Department Of Labor's Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), both biological and non-biological parents who work for large "covered" employers are allowed twelve weeks of paid leave within the first 12 months of their child's birth or adoption.

At companies like Google and Yahoo though, they aren't given the same benefits as biological mothers. At Yahoo, Marissa Mayer's new and improved parental leave policy states that all parents, including those of foster, adopted or surrogate children, get eight weeks off. But if you're a biological mother, you get an additional eight weeks for a total of 16.

Google, where Mayer formerly worked, has a similar policy that's stronger for biological mothers than for those who don't physically give birth. Biological mothers are given between 18 and 22 weeks of paid maternity leave (it depends if there are birth complications); fathers, gay couples and other parents who adopt are given seven weeks. Both companies give extra "baby cash" to all parents and help offset childcare costs.

Microsoft, Pinterest and Twitter are similar offenders, offering biological mothers much more time with their newborns.

Part of the reason for the shortened leave policies may be that Google and Yahoo offset some of the cost of adoption for parents. Yahoo offers $5,000 toward the process; Google actually helps its employees who want to adopt a child through the process. Also, parents who adopt or foster children don't legally qualify for disability leave, according to Baby Center.

Facebook, on the other hand, doesn't discriminate against particular types of parents. All parents, including same-sex couples and dads, are given four months of paid leave as well as $4,000 in baby cash. Reddit, similarly, does not discriminate between adopting and biological parents.

While all three policies are unusually generous, some seem to favor one specific partner more.

This Mother Jones chart shows the discrepancies in the leave policies.

Yahoo has not yet returned a request for comment.

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