Just a little attention grabbing humor. Most of us parents do often feel a little “loco” from our kids. However, what I meant to refer to has nothing to do with being a little “crazy’ but is the term “in loco parentis”. This is a term that commonly means a person who has put himself in the situation of a lawful parent by assuming the obligations incident to the parental relation without going through the formalities necessary to legal adoption. It embodies the two ideas of assuming the parental status and discharging the parental duties. On June 22, 2010, the Department of Labor issued an Administrator’s Letter giving clarification of the definition of “son or daughter” under Section 101(12) of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as it applies to an employee standing “in loco parentis” to a child. In the letter, the Administrator issued its opinion that the term “in loco parentis” depends heavily on the facts of the situation but it generally means someone with day-to-day responsibilities to care for and financially support a child. 29 C.F.R. § 825.122(c)(3). Employees who have no biological or legal relationship with a child may nonetheless stand in loco parentis to the child and be entitled to FMLA leave. It is the Administrator’s interpretation that the regulations do not require an employee who intends to assume the responsibilities of a parent to establish that he or she provides both day-to-day care and financial support in order to be found to stand in loco parentis to a child. For example, where an employee provides day-to-day care for his or her unmarried partner’s child (with whom there is no legal or biological relationship) but does not financially support the child, the employee could be considered to stand in loco parentis to the child and therefore be entitled to FMLA leave to care for the child if the child had a serious health condition. The same principles apply to leave for the birth of a child and to bond with a child within the first 12 months following birth or placement. For instance, an employee who will share equally in the raising of a child with the child’s biological parent would be entitled to leave for the child’s birth because he or she will stand in loco parentis to the child. Similarly, an employee who will share equally in the raising of an adopted child with a same sex partner, but who does not have a legal relationship with the child, would be entitled to leave to bond with the child following placement, or to care for the child if the child had a serious health condition, because the employee stands in loco parentis to the child. It should be noted that the fact that a child has a biological parent in the home, or has both a mother and a father, does not prevent a finding that the child is the “son or daughter” of an employee who lacks a biological or legal relationship with the child for purposes of taking FMLA leave. Neither the statute nor the regulations restrict the number of parents a child may have under the FMLA. For example, where a child’s biological parents divorce, and each parent remarries, the child will be the “son or daughter” of both the biological parents and the stepparents and all four adults would have equal rights to take FMLA leave to care for the child. Where an employer has questions about whether an employee’s relationship to a child is covered under FMLA, the employer may require the employee to provide reasonable documentation or statement of the family relationship. A simple statement asserting that the requisite family relationship exists is all that is needed in situations such as in loco parentis where there is no legal or biological relationship. See 29 C.F.R. § 825.122(j); 73 Fed. Reg. 67,952 (Nov. 17, 2008). Examples of situations in which an in loco parentis relationship may be found include where a grandparent takes in a grandchild and assumes ongoing responsibility for raising the child because the parents are incapable of providing care, or where an aunt assumes responsibility for raising a child after the death of the child’s parents. Such situations may, or may not, ultimately lead to a legal relationship with the child (adoption or legal ward), but no such relationship is required to find in loco parentis status. In contrast, an employee who cares for a child while the child’s parents are on vacation would not be considered to be in loco parentis to the child.