Only 9 states have adoptive leave equal to maternity leave

Country/area: Brazil

Organisation: O POVO

Organisation size: Big

Publication date: 03/06/2021

Credit: Flávia Oliveira, Thays Lavor


Thays Lavor: Journalist, Master in Communication and Post-Graduate in Data Science. She works with investigative and data journalism, teaches courses and workshops aimed at investigating disinformation and data journalism. She is currently editor-in-chief of the data journalism center at O POVO, a newspaper located in the state of Ceará, is on the board of the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji) and the network of ambassadors for Civic Innovation at Open Knowledge Brasil (OKBR).

Flávia Oliveira: Journalist and reporter for the multistreaming platform of O POVO Mais.

Project description:

The adoption of children and adolescents by state civil servants collides with anti-constitutional regulations that establish differences between the children of adoptive parents and the biological ones. Most licenses granted to adopters are for just 30 days. The survey carried out in the 27 statutes of state civil servants revealed that, with the exception of the states mentioned, the license granted is inversely proportional to the age of the adoptee, that is, the older he is, the shorter the term granted.


Impact reached:

The project reveals the failure of the Public Ministry to call the state and municipal Executive to update their statutes, as well as representing a total lack of information from the powers. When the state does not update its law, according to the new decision of the Federal Supreme Court, it ends up generating the burden for those who no longer have the right they should have. And this is the reality in Brazil, 67% of Brazilian states deny their adopting public servants and adopted children and adolescents, under the prism of the best interest of the child and the right to coexistence, the establishment of affective bonds and the reception in the new family nucleus.

Techniques/technologies used:

For the construction of this report, DataDoc collected the statutes of public servants of each Federation Unit and based on official documents, we systematized by State and Age of the Child or Adolescent, the times of the maternity leave benefit offered to public servants who adopt in the parents. Data were extracted from government institutional websites and checked via the Access to Information Law (LAI). 27 requests for LAI were submitted to all Brazilian states, these requests required the time of maternity leave granted to servants who adopt children or adolescents, the duration of the benefit, the ages of the adoptees and the rules that govern the benefits.

What was the hardest part of this project?

The most difficult part of this report was to collect and systematize the statutes of public servants of each Federation Unit. Because the vast majority of these documents had updates that were in their version available on government websites. To check the correct information, 27 requests for the Access to Information Law (LAI) were submitted to all Brazilian states. Government responses exceeded the deadlines established by law and we need to make resources to guarantee the response to LAI requests.

What can others learn from this project?

Journalists can be inspired and learn to use the Access to Information Law as a journalistic investigation tool and implement this in their work routine, and thus produce evidence-based journalism that challenges the powerful.

Project links: