Employed full-time in Germany, give birth in US

31 posts in this topic

Posted

Dear all,

I am pregnant with twins in Germany and working in a good full time job. Recently, I just found out that my husband will need to move with his company back to the US in a few months and change his German contract to a US one in order to keep his position. Therefore, I will also move back to the US. Since I am American, it should not be difficult for me to find a job. But it is unlikely that I will find one before the twins are due in the middle of July since few employers will want to hire a woman who is pregnant.

So now, my question is, has anybody moved back to their home country from Germany while they are pregnant? And if so, how does one manage to get the mutterschutz benefits when they have a full-time job in Germany but no longer live in Germany? I don't want to take advantage of the German system, but I am in a difficult situation since I want to be with my husband during the last month of the pregnant and also have him present for the delivery. But the only way for me to do this is to work in my job in Germany until my mutterschutz, and then go to US and deliver the babies there. If anyone had similar experiences, I would really appreciate hearing about how it went for you.

Thank you in advance!

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Posted

I don't think your plan will work for many reasons. Most importantly, unless you already have health insurance in the US, you'll have to pay for the delivery out of pocket there.

Furthermore, once you quit your job and move back to the States you'll no longer be ordinarily resident in Germany, which AFAIK makes you ineligible for Elterngeld.

Your husband will need to convince his employer to postpone the transfer until after the twins are born.

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Posted

Yes, health insurance in the US is a topic into which I have researched. Since my husband will have a full time job, he will have a health insurance which covers me as well. And pregnancy is not considered a pre-existing condition, so I will be covered for the birth in the US.

Also, I am not concerned about Elterngeld, but actually just the Mutterschutz. I do not plan to quit my job in Germany right now before being able to find another job in the US. I just want to give birth in the US.

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Posted

I'm not sure if I understood your question correctly. This is what I understood: Despite your husband's move, you want to stay in Germany and stay employed with your German employer - but go to the US to give birth.

Mutterschutz only makes sense if you remain resident in Germany, i.e. return to Germany after the birth. I'm not sure (not an expert by any means) what happens if you move your place of residence to the US. The US will certainly NOT honor German Mutterschutz, if that's what you were counting on.

Have you already worked out the Mutterschutz with your employer? And will you return to Germany after the birth? Mutterschutz ends 8 weeks after the birth (12 weeks for premature and twins, triplets etc.). Will you be ready to continue working then, in Germany?

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Posted

Only 8 Weeks? Then how/why are women given 3 years off per kid? Or am I confusing this with something else?

Update: the 3yrs is called Elternzeit and is separate from Mutterschutz, but is most commonly used in conjunction with..

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Posted

Elternzeit is up to 3 years, kicks in after Mutterschutz ends. And being as the OP is expecting twins, she'll have 12 weeks Mutterschutz.

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Posted

OP, you might also want to find out what the cut-off date is for flights - I know that many airlines will not let you fly past a certain point in pregnancy.

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Posted

Of course, I don't expect that the US will honor German Mutterschutz. I simply don't want to move without already having a job in the US, but if I stay in Germany to give birth, I will do it alone, which is definitely not the goal. I am prepared to come back to Germany to work after the Mutterschutz ends.

Most airlines won't allow a pregnant woman to fly up to four weeks before the birth, and since I am going to have my mutterschutz six weeks before the birth, it shouldn't be a problem. Although one never knows. :)

I have my own work permit and my own Aufenhaltstitel. The apartment is also in my name, so I have a wohnsitz here in Germany without needing to have my husband present.

Thanks to everyone for their post, but it sounds like no one had yet the experience, so I am charting a new path here.

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Posted

Do you have your own residence/work permit, or was it dependent on his?

From what I can find, as long as you do, and you keep your job status and a bank account here, you should be fine.

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Posted

but if I stay in Germany to give birth, I will do it alone, which is definitely not the goal. I am prepared to come back to Germany to work after the Mutterschutz ends.

Umm.. Ok, but if you come back to germany after the births and want to go back to work, then who's going to watch the kids? You already said your husband

will be in the US by then.. I think you need to do some more deep thinking/planning..

Another question.. Is your Husband German? Have you been married and living long enough in Germany to have/get unlimited living and work permits..

If not, then you may find that coming back, living or keeping your job might be a problem.

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Posted

One thought for the flight, be sure to get a letter from your doctor (in English if you are flying over with a US airline) stating your exact due date and how many weeks pregnant you will be at the time of the flight. I once saw a woman denied at check-in because she looked like she was about to pop. She too was having multiples. Without proof its at the discretion of the airline to let you board.

Good luck

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Posted

I think as a full-time employed person in Germany with legal work permit and no complaints from my employer, I am allowed to take my Mutterschutz. Now, the question here is really am I able to get the benefits of Mutterschutz when I have my baby in another country. And here, I don't see why not, as long as I am planning to come back to Germany after the birth. But I would like to know other people's experience here. For instance, during your Mutterschutz time, do you have to visit your OBGYN and get a note to submit to your employer? After after the baby is born, do you have to register the birth date with your employer so that they can count your Mutterschutz from that date? If this is the case, then it would make it difficult for me to give birth from afar.

I think lots of woman also quit their job after they give birth because they have changed their mind about working. Therefore, if I quit my job after my Mutterschutz, which happens to lots of woman, then I have no obligation to return to Germany. Although that is not what I am planning right now because I would like to have a job while I am looking for a new job.

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Posted

So, you have an umlimited work permit, and separate from your husband's? (i.e. you got through the Vorrangprüfung by yourself)? If you got your right to work through accompanying him and his company move, your permit presumably expires once he leaves.

Even with an umlimited residence/work permit, you are only allowed to be out of the country for a certain amount of time (is it 3 months? or 6?); otherwise your permit becomes invalid.

If all is above board, you should have no problem.

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Posted

Also, if your spouse is German, you can stay out of Germany as long as you want and your permanent residency will remain in place without any additional paperwork (I have that in writing from the Auslanderbehorde). Otherwise, you could get an extension if you want to stay in the US during an agreed upon Elternzeit- and yes, you could agree on that with your employer and take it out of Germany, although depending on how long you are gone, that would impact receiving money in that time. Vacation ok, non-resident, not.

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Posted

OMG, why is everyone so negative?

Why would a doctor in the U.S. not take her?

Secondly, with her own Aufenhaltstitel, she can leave Germany for up to 6 months (maybe longer) for whatever reason she wants...so 3 months to go on vacation (so to speak) in the U.S. is not a problem.

And why all these questions about who will care for the babies when she gets back? She didn't ask this question so she obviously has a plan.

I completely understand where she is coming from and what she is talking about.

She has roughly 6 weeks before and 8 weeks afer the birth to "not work"....who says she has to be in Germany during this time? This is her question.

To the OP, I hope you find your answers. I don't know anyone who has done this. And please ignore all the other people passing judgement.

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Posted

Just wanted to agree with what gail123 says as I know recently from a friend the difficulty of finding a doctor to accept you when you "too far along". You have to find a doctor who will accept your insurance at their practice and deliver at THEIR hospital even if it is not the most convenient choice. And this was just a move from one state to another. She thought it might be because they make less money compared to an entire pregnancy.

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Posted

...Now, the question here is really am I able to get the benefits of Mutterschutz when I have my baby in another country. ...

Sure. As I look at it (just generally speaking), Mutterschutz gives you job protection before and after the birth. You are entitled to your full salary. You also get regular check-ups from your gynecologist and help from a midwife after. If you choose to do this elsewhere then that's your decision, but your German health insurance won't cover any of it (maybe some private policies will, I don't know about that). I have a friend who has returned to her home country during Mutterschutz and will give birth there and stay for 3 months after. In her home country she still has health insurance. She chose to do so because both her and her husband are foreigners here and have no family here.

...After after the baby is born, do you have to register the birth date with your employer so that they can count your Mutterschutz from that date? ...

Yes. There is lots of paperwork that is necessary, but it doesn't matter where you give birth. You have to provide your employer with a copy of the birth certificate. Who care where the baby was born? It isn't relevant.

...I think lots of woman also quit their job after they give birth because they have changed their mind about working. Therefore, if I quit my job after my Mutterschutz, which happens to lots of woman, then I have no obligation to return to Germany.

They don't quit their jobs until a year or two down the line. Why? This is shitty for your employer, but you have the right to 3 years Elternzeit. My advice, say you will take 2 years of Elternzeit, then you have the possibility to extend it for one more year. This is what I have done, though I planned to go back to work after 1 year (Teilzeit in Elternzeit employement). Though because my husband was sent abroad, obviously I am not able to go back to work as planned. But because I told my boss in advance I wanted 2 years, then there is no problem.

You can still be eligible for Elterngeld. Many people go and travel during that time or join their partners who get sent abroad for their companies. The wording is very technical, but it basically says your regular residence must still be in Germany.

But what a pickle you guys are in. And what aweful timing for him. Why not just stay in Germany. Is his job that important?

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Posted

Tinder, I'd check with your doctor about how realistic it is to fly at that stage of pregnancy, and also with the airline about their specific policy on flying during a twin pregnancy. Twin pregnancies are different, and carry different/more risks than a singleton pregnancies.

I'm 28 weeks pregnant with twins, which has so far been trouble-free, and would definitely not be keen on spending any decent amount of time in an airplane at this stage. From what I have read, most women are starting to really feel the strain on their bodies at this point (me included), and many are put on bedrest due to the higher chance of preterm labour, which of course would mean no flying. I think you need to plan for the worst case, because it would be awful if you were put on bedrest, or the twins came early, and you ended up being stuck. If you are set on going back, you really will want to go as early as possible, around the 6 month mark.

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Posted

Or use up all your vacation right before Mutterschutz this leaving you a few more weeks to travel.

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Posted

Thanks to everyone who has responded. I didn't realize that it would be so difficult to transfer, but I will definitely do some calling now to understand the situation with transfer patients before I make definite plans.

I also thought about using up all my vacation time before Mutterschutz begins to make it possible for me to get to the US earlier, but I understand that you have to get a note from your German doctor one week before Mutterschutz is due to start. Therefore, I don't think it would be possible for me to leave Germany already and then get the note from a German doctor.

Surprisingly, I just found out that one of my husband's employee, who is going to be transferring also to the US, is pregnant with twins, and due in June. She is planning to give birth there, but does not yet have a doctor. I guess I should share all this information with her to make sure that she is aware how difficult the planning can be. :)

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Posted

You can still be eligible for Elterngeld. Many people go and travel during that time or join their partners who get sent abroad for their companies. The wording is very technical, but it basically says your regular residence must still be in Germany.

This is going to be the sticking point. The OP will need to remain “ordinarily resident” in Germany in order to make any claims under German employment/maternity law. Considering she and her husband are both American and he is moving back for a permanent US contract, it will be very difficult for her to argue that she is only temporarily in the US with the intention of returning to Germany either on her own or with 2 year old twins.

Points to consider:

- apartment/ personal effects in Germany?

- German contracts cancelled?

- registration (Anmeldung) in Germany?

- permission from the ABH for an extension to be out of Germany

On the other hand, it really depends whether her employer will even question her on the matter. Wo kein Kläger, da kein Richter

...

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