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Moms Turn to Crowdfunding to Cover Unpaid Maternity Leave

The Short of It

Moms are crowdfunding for maternity leave money because their companies don't provide paid time-off.

The Lowdown

As the U.S.continues to lag far behind other countries when it comes to paid maternity leave, American moms are turning to crowdfunding in order to raise money to take time off work to care for their newborns and still be able to pay the bills. 

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The Family and Medical Leave Act mandates that employers offer 12 weeks of unpaid leave for new parents, which is little help for families on a tight budget. So according to BuzzFeed, moms without access to paid family leave are turning to personal fundraising sites, like GoFundMe, YouCaring and GiveForward, to create campaigns to ask friends and family to make donations.

A quick search for "maternity leave" on GoFundMe returns 1,285 results, including one from a mom who has already raised $1,485 for her son Finn.

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"I'm a single mother who works primarily as a waitress," she wrote on GoFundMe. "Because my job is physically demanding I will be medically obligated to go on maternity leave for anywhere from 1-2 months (between late pregnancy and early post-partum.)
The funds I'm trying to raise are just enough to make sure that I have enough for rent so that there's no worry that Finn and I will end up homeless while I'm unable to work. Every other expense I can find a way to figure out."

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The Upshot

Does it sound strange to hear moms are crowdfunding for maternity leave? Perhaps. If you could give up three months of salary and still make ends meet, consider yourself one of the lucky ones. But when taking 12 weeks of unpaid leave isn't an option and most companies aren't stepping up their family leave game, what other choice do they really have?

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