This article will examine parental leave and the non-normative parent. Parental leave in the United States is currently a hot-button issue. With so much focus on the “Opt-Out” Generation, “Leaning In,” and whether women can in fact “have it all,” the issues faced by parents who are not educated, upper class, and in a heterosexual marriage relationship with the biological father are often ignored in the discussion of how the law is lacking. Instead, the discussion has focused on women at the top echelon of employment. In doing this, a large segment of the population is being completely left out of the efforts to make comprehensive change in parental leave laws.

Parental leave, as it currently stands in the United States, is a privilege rather than a right; this must change to account fully for the most comprehensive parental leave possible. In order for the entire nation to progress in this area, the needs of all must be considered in the creation and application of parental leave laws and policies. This paper will examine how laws in the United States are currently structured and applied for all parents. Specifically, it will examine how the Family and Medical Leave Act is insufficient to meet the needs of homosexual parents, single parents, and low-income parents. It will then suggest how the laws can be changed to account for the current gaps.