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Parental (Bonding) Leave

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Parental (bonding) leave is for a mother, father, or an individual that is considered in ‘loco parentis’ to the child. ‘In loco parentis’ is a relationship that is created when a person assumes the responsibility of parent to the child. A legal or biological relationship is not necessary. When the FAMLI Division is considering parental status, the Division may consider: the age of the child; the degree to which the child is dependent on the person; the amount of financial support being provided; and the extent of parental responsibilities that are being fulfilled. 

Your employer is entitled to a 30-day notice before your leave begins, if possible.

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If you experience a complicated pregnancy or birth, your benefits may be extended to 16 weeks. A licensed health care provider will have to verify that you have a serious health condition related to your pregnancy or birth complications. Birthing parents who experience a complication will need to file a separate FAMLI claim listing their own serious health condition as the reason for leave. 

Documents Needed

New parents filing a Parental (Bonding) Leave claim do not need their claim verified by a health care provider. Instead, they will need to upload proof of birth or placement which must include the child’s birth date or placement date. Examples may include, but are not limited to:

  • a birth certificate, or verification of birth worksheet
  • birth or recovery care documentation from a health care provider or medical facility 
    • *Make sure your proof of birth documentation includes your child's date of birth.
  • adoption or foster care placement paperwork 
  • *For all reasons an individual applies for FAMLI leave, the Division may request additional reasonable information or documentation necessary (outside of what’s asked for in My FAMLI+) to process the claim.

Expecting parents can start their Parental (Bonding) Leave application up to 30 days in advance of their expected leave start date. However, the proof of birth documentation is required to fully submit the claim. Your claim will be saved as a draft until that documentation is submitted.

New parents are eligible to take FAMLI leave to bond with a new child anytime within the first 12 months after a birth, adoption or foster care placement. So parents who welcomed a new child in 2023 may have some weeks of eligibility in 2024 (when benefits become available), even if they used some employer-sponsored leave or unpaid FMLA leave in 2023 when the child first arrived. Parents who welcomed children in 2023 can learn more here.

Further Reading

Article: Fathers finally getting their due under new Colorado paid leave program

Article: The Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) Division is Committed to Inclusion

Article: Welcoming a new child in 2023? You can take paid bonding leave in 2024!