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Expanding Your Family

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Congratulations! Expanding your family is an exciting time, whether this is your first child or your fifth. This time may also be one that brings many questions. Please know that Carolina is here to support you along the way. Explore the topics below for details on leave options, benefits coverage and wellness resources.


Leave Options

There are several types of leave for the birth or adoption of a child as well as leave for bonding time — for both parents. These leave programs are subject to certain eligibility requirements. When to notify your direct supervisor is a personal decision; however, please know that leave forms must be submitted 30 days before the start of leave.

Employees who need to request leave for the birth or placement of a child and to bond with the new child must complete the online Leave Request Form through ConnectCarolina Self Service. For more information, visit the How to Request Leave page on the HR at UNC website.”

This leave option provides up to four continuous weeks of paid leave at a time and includes recuperative leave for the birth parent and bonding leave for birth and non-birth parents.

For specific family and medical reasons, this job-protected leave is unpaid for up to 12 work weeks within a 12-month period of time. Note that generally pregnancy is not considered a leave event or disability unless there are extenuating medical conditions or complications.

Available to faculty members for birth/adoption.


Birth and adoption are qualified life events that allow you to make changes to your benefits. You have 30 calendar days from the birth or adoption placement date to add your child to your health insurance or any other benefits plans, including:

  • Dental and Vision plans
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Life Insurance
  • Accidental Death (AD&D) and Critical Illness plans

After the first 30-day period, the next opportunity to your child to your insurance plan/s will be during the annual Open Enrollment in October.


A few things to keep in mind as you plan:

  • If adding a newborn to your plan: Be sure to apply for a Social Security number for your child. From the date of birth, you will have six months to add the Social Security number to your insurance plans.
  • A Dependent Day Care Flexible Spending Account can help pay up to $5,000 a year for child care expense on a pre-tax basis. Enroll during the first 30 days from birth or adoption placement or during the annual Open Enrollment in October.
  • You will need to upload documentation of birth or adoption before you’re able to add your child to your benefit plans.
    • If a birth: The hospital will usually provide you with a Verification of Facts document that details the birth.
    • If an adoption: Use the adoption paperwork/forms detailing this event.
    • See the Updating My Benefits page for instructions on how to upload documentation for a dependent.
  • You may elect coverage for your child/ren under the University’s Group Term Life Plan and/or AD&D Plan. See the Updating My Benefits page for instructions on how to add a dependent to Life Insurance and Accidental Death (AD&D) and Critical Illness plans.



You can update tax withholdings anytime online through ConnectCarolina Self Service. Changes take effect in the next available pay cycle. See the How Do I…? page for instructions on how to change your W-4 & NC-4.


When preparing for a birth or adoption takes, there are many things to consider, including choosing doctors and determining a budget for out-of-pocket costs.

If you have questions about prenatal care, delivery and post-partum costs and coverage, please review the Family Planning section of your NC State Health Plan Booklet to understand your deductible and out-of-pocket limits for your selected health plan, either the Base (70/30) plan or the Enhanced (80/20) plan. For a hospital birth, plan on a $6,000-$7,000 out-of-pocket cost, which includes your full deductible and coinsurance maximum (the 20% or 30% depending on your health plan.
If you need help finding an OB-GYN, the Find a Doctor page of the North Carolina State Health Plan website can assist you in choosing a medical provider within the the State Health Plan network.
Members of both the Base (70/30) plan and the Enhanced (80/20) plan receive free in-network breastfeeding counseling and a choice of a manual or electronic breast pump per pregnancy at no cost.
Review helpful maternity resources on the North Carolina State Health Plan Health & Wellness Resources page to learn more about paying for maternity visits and adding newborns to your health plan.

Preparing for a Family

Connect to care with GudianceResources®! The UNC Employee Assistance program offers endless resources, from wellness to finance and much more — all from the comfort of your computer! Access GuidanceResources® online or with the GuidanceNow app on your smartphone. Log in or create your free account with organization web ID: TARHEELS.

  • Simply use Search for Resources to search a topic
  • Live chat with a GuidanceConsultant Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Call 811-314-5841 any time 24 hours a day.

Below is sample of the kinds of support available to you through GuidanceResources®.


To speak to a legal representative to learn more about the process and costs of adoption or becoming a legal guardian, you can receive a free consultation and discounted local representation through GuidanceResources® Legal Guidance any time 24 hours a day by calling 877-314-5841.



Experiencing a Loss

Learn more about GuidanceResources on the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) page of the HR at UNC website.

Explore parenting resources at UNC for information on helpful University and community programs, support and more with Parenting@UNC.
Enjoy a library of podcasts, quick reads, recordings and presentation slides to review at a time convenient to you. Our Total WellBeing On-Demand Library covers topics that include stress management, financial wellness, nutrition, community support and additional UNC resources.

Returning to Work

Returning to work after welcoming a child into your family can be a big adjustment. Check out the helpful resources below to help ease the transition.

Lactation rooms are available throughout the campus. To request access to lactation rooms (which are usually locked), email For more information, see the University’s Lactation Policy.
Child Care Service Association (CCSA), the University’s child care resource and referral agency, can help you find the affordable, high-quality child care that best fits your family’s needs. CCSA also assists with finding financial resources available through the University Childcare Scholarship program and other federal assistance programs.

Learn more about the various child care resources available to you.

If you would find it helpful to speak with a wellness counselor, the Employee Assistance Program is available to you 24 hours a day, both online and over the phone:

Learn more about GuidanceResources on the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) page of the HR at UNC website.

Ways to Save

As a University employee, you are just a click away so many discount programs that help you save money!

  • Sign up for Blue365 deals to save on bottles, pacifiers, monitors, diapers, wipes, vitamins and more.
  • View the Discounts & Perks webpage to learn about all the discount programs available to you.


Need to make changes in ConnectCarolina?

Update your name and address, designate your beneficiaries, upload documentation and take care of other benefits-related items in ConnectCarolina Service with these step-by-step instructions.