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Congressman Tom MacArthur

Representing the 3rd District of New Jersey

MacArthur and Davis Partner on Meaningful Reform for Military Families

June 6, 2016
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom MacArthur and Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-CA) have today announced a meaningful partnership to protect military families by expanding the adoption leave policy that was recently included in the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

There are approximately 84,000 dual military couples in the United States, most of whom do not serve in the same locales.  Some of these couples have chosen to adopt children into their families, but only one parent is currently allowed adoption leave. The adoption provision would allow the second parent of a dual military couple the benefit of adoption leave. This will allow both parents time to properly bond with their new family member.  This will also bring adoption leave in line with the current fourteen day paternity leave period, which is allowed after the birth of a child.

MacArthur and Davis brought unique perspectives to the table to accomplish this goal. As an adoptive father, the son of a U.S. Army veteran and the representative of 65,000 veterans, Congressman MacArthur used his position as the Vice Chairman on the Subcommittee on Military Personnel to advocate for the flexibility this would provide our military families.

Congresswoman Davis brought her own experiences as the daughter of a WWII veteran, military spouse and ranking Democratic member on the subcommittee to reach across party lines and draw on personal experiences to provide meaningful reform for military families.

"Our military prospers when experienced people continue to serve,” said Congresswoman Susan Davis. “These benefits provide our men and women in uniform the flexibility that will help us retain quality personnel. Allowing servicemembers the opportunity to spend time with a new addition to the family - whether newly born or newly adopted - says that we value them and their families. It also provides a chance to bond with a new family member and prepare for the challenges of raising a family. I appreciate Congressman MacArthur's leadership on this issue and look forward to working with him to secure these benefits for our servicemembers."

“I have been blessed with both natural born and adopted children, and I know how important it is to have that period to bond,” said Congressman MacArthur. “Through adoption, couples come to understand that parenting is not about biological origins, but the profound relationship between a mother or father and their child. I want our military families to have this experience with a smooth transition. Thank you to Congresswoman Davis for working together to support the military families that have already sacrificed so much.”