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When you're expecting a baby, your excitement about buying clothes, blankets and toys for your little bundle can get in the way of more mundane – yet still necessary – legal and financial concerns. Take note of the following.

Maternity leave

According to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, you are entitled to up to four consecutive months of maternity leave as an expectant mother. Although your employer is not legally obliged to pay for this leave, you are eligible for certain benefits under the Unemployment Insurance Act (UIF).

Since 2018, working South African dads are entitled to ten working days of paid paternity leave after the birth of their child. If you are a single adoptive parent and the child is under two years old, you have the right to adoption leave of ten weeks.

Where there are two adoptive parents, one employee has a right to adoption leave of two months and the other is entitled to parental leave of ten days, paid for by the UIF.

Maintenance

When it comes to having a baby, concern for its wellbeing is non-negotiable. Unfortunately, not all parents honour their legal duty to provide for their children. Remember, all parents – whether married, living together, separated or divorced and whether biological or adoptive – are required to support the financial needs of their children.

A legal guardian and/or the biological grandparents may need to pay maintenance if the child’s parents can’t pay.

Surrogacy

A surrogate is a woman who carries a baby on behalf of the future parents (or parent). To comply with South Africa’s Children’s Act, all the parties need to sign a written agreement with each other prior to embarking on the process of surrogacy. This agreement must be confirmed by the High Court and be made an Order of Court before the surrogate falls pregnant.

Medical aid

Find out what is involved in adding your baby to your medical aid policy. Some plans require that you pay additional premiums, while other plans are all-inclusive. If you do not have medical aid, look into the matter to ensure your new baby's health needs are covered.

Estate planning

While you don’t want to consider not being around to raise your child, it is important to write up a will in case you die unexpectedly. With Vodacom Life Cover, you can rest assured knowing your family’s needs will be taken care of when you’re no longer around. Premiums start from as little as R92 per month for R100,000 cover. Your premium is individually calculated based on your personal risk profile and circumstances.

No paperwork, medical exams or blood tests are involved. Just provide your details online and you’ll have cover in 10 minutes. Call 082 124 for more information.

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