UMA’s students balance full lives. Pregnant students, those with a pregnancy related condition, and parenting students have special protections under Title IX of the Higher Education Act of 1972.
Students should consider notifying the Deputy Title IX Coordinator of their or their partner’s pregnancy, pregnancy related condition, or unique parenting need. The Deputy can create a coordinated approach to short term accommodations, maternity or paternity leave, and academic accommodations.
Expecting students are protected under Title IX. Students may request accommodations such as larger desks, the ability to have water in the classroom, or additional breaks. Pregnant students given medical restrictions such as bed-rest will be accommodated to the fullest extent practicable. At times, a student’s medical situation may require an incomplete in a course, etc. The Deputy Title IX Coordinator can assist with such arrangements.
Students Recently Pregnant
Typically, students who have a vaginal birth are allowed a 6-week maternity leave and cesarean deliveries are granted an 8-week maternity leave. Students may be granted leave as long as medically necessary. Students may also return to school as soon as they wish and are encouraged to work with their medical professionals to determine that timing.
Pregnancy Loss, Miscarriage, & Abortion
Students who miscarry, suffer pregnancy loss or false pregnancy, and those who have an abortion are all protected by Title IX laws. The Deputy Title IX Coordinator can assist in making academic and other arrangements in these situations.
Adoption & Fostering
Students who adopt or foster children are entitled to the same rights and benefits as birth parents.
UMA will provide reasonable accommodations to parenting students who request assistance. Extensions may be granted for medical necessity or extraordinary caretaking/parenting responsibilities.
Student information is kept as private as possible. Students are not required to disclose their medical status to faculty. Students who would like accommodation but do not wish to disclose their medical information to faculty should contact the Deputy Title IX Coordinator.
Each student’s unique situation affects what options are available, though the University provides accommodations under a specific framework.
- Student absences for pregnancy or related condition must be excused for as long as medically necessary. Students should notify UMA as soon as practicable to ensure appropriate accommodations.
- Upon return, students are reinstated to the status they had before they left. UMA will coordinate course completion or provide comparable alternatives as needed.
- Faculty will not “dock” a student’s grade for not being able to attend a class due to a pregnancy related condition. Students must be given the opportunity to earn back the credit from missed classes.
- Faculty must allow students to make up work that was missed due to pregnancy, birth or related conditions, including recovery from a miscarriage or abortion.
- Faculty may not determine when a pregnant/recently pregnant student may return to school – that is up to the student and their medical provider.
For more information regarding a particular circumstance, please contact the Deputy Title IX Coordinator.
Students who are breastfeeding may be excused from class to nurse or pump and will not be penalized for their time away. If you need a private place to pump, please contact the Deputy Title IX Coordinator. We will work to provide a private, sanitary space for your lactation needs.
A mother may breastfeed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be as outlined by Maine State Law – which includes the premises of UMA.
For more information or to request assistance, please be in touch. If you are a student needing accommodations for pregnancy or parenting related issues, please contact Kim Kenniston who will be pleased to assist you.
Director of Residence Life & Title IX Deputy
There are many excellent resources on the web for pregnant and parenting students.
- Know Your Rights: Pregnant or Parenting? Title IX Protects You From Discrimination at School by the Office for Civil Rights
- The Pregnant Scholar web page
- Supporting the Academic Success of Pregnant and Parenting Students – U.S. Department of Education
- Pregnant & Parenting Students’ Rights: FAQ for College and Graduate Students by the National Women’s Law Center
- ChildCareChoices, provided by the University of Maine, assists parents in accessing child care, and also in learning about types of child care and subsidies available for parents.
- Maine’s Child & Family Services website provides information on steps to choosing child care, finding case, subsidies and tax credits, along with licensing information.
- UMA Counseling Services provides free, confidential clinical counseling services to our students – parent and non-parent alike.
- UMaine’s Cooperative Extension provides an extensive referral and resource list for parents throughout Maine on topics from adoption, autism, and breastfeeding through divorce care, domestic violence, and home visiting services.
- Maine Parent Federation provides information, referral, one on one telephone support, and training to parents of children with disabilities or special health needs.
Resources for Pregnant and Parenting Sexual Assault Survivors