University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

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Pregnant and Parenting Students

The information on this page is for the 2019-2020 academic year. Updates for 2020-2021 will be made after August 14, 2020.

Under Title IX, the university “…shall not discriminate against any student, or exclude any student from its education program or activity, including any class or extracurricular activity, on the basis of such student’s pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy or recovery therefrom, unless the student requests voluntarily to participate in a separate portion of the program or activity of the recipient.” 34 C.F.R. § 106.40.

This also includes protection from being excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in employment, or recruitment, consideration, or selection therefor, whether full-time or part-time, under any education program or activity operated by a recipient which receives Federal financial assistance. See 34 C.F.R. Part 106 Subpart E—Discrimination on the Basis of Sex in Employment in Education Programs or Activities Prohibited.

The Title IX Office staff meets with students to discuss and assist with adjustments or accommodations based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions, rights of pregnant students, policy and procedure questions, and can connect them with campus resources.

To set up an in-person or phone appointment, please call (217) 333-3333 or email titleixcoordinator@illinois.edu.

Student Rights

Classes and School Activities

You have the right to continue participating in classes and extracurricular activities while pregnant, without requiring a doctor’s note unless the school requires a doctor’s note from all students who have a physical or emotional condition requiring treatment by a doctor. Your school must not request a doctor’s note from you after you have been hospitalized for childbirth unless it requires a doctor’s note from all students who have been hospitalized for other conditions.

For the university’s policy on class attendance and absence letters, please see Student Code, Article 1, Part 5, Section 1-501.

Reasonable Adjustments

You have the right to reasonable adjustments, such as a larger desk, elevator access, or allowing frequent trips to the restroom when necessary because of pregnancy.

Excused Absences and Medical Leave

You have the right to excused absences due to pregnancy or childbirth for as long as your doctor says it’s medically necessary. You are allowed to return to the same academic and extracurricular status as before your medical leave began, which should include giving you the opportunity to make up any work missed while you were out.

For the university’s policy on class attendance and absence letters, please see Student Code, Article 1, Part 5, Section 1-501.

Source: Know Your Rights: Pregnant or Parenting? Title IX Protects You From Discrimination At School, Department of Education Office for Civil Rights

Harassment & Discrimination Policies and Procedures

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Nondiscrimination Policy includes prohibiting discrimination and harassment based on pregnancy. For more information, see the Full Nondiscrimination Policy in the Campus Administrative Manual. The Nondiscrimination Policy is also available in the Student Code, Article 1, Part 1, Section 1-108.

To report an incident online, visit Report an Incident on the We Care site. You can also contact the Office for Access & Equity (OAE) directly at (217) 333-0885 or via email at accessandequity@illinois.edu.

Procedural Guidelines for Handling Discrimination and Harassment Complaints under the Nondiscrimination Policy (PDF).

Helpful Tips

Ask for Help

You can meet with us in the Title IX Office regarding what the university can do to support you in continuing your education.

Keep Notes

Keep notes about your pregnancy-related absences, any instances of harassment and your interactions with school officials about your pregnancy, and immediately report problems to the Title IX Coordinator, a counselor, or other staff.

File a Complaint

If you feel your school is discriminating against you because you are pregnant or parenting, you may file a complaint:

  • Using the university’s internal Title IX grievance procedures (see Harassment & Discrimination Policies and Procedures)
  • With the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), even if you have not filed a complaint with your school. If you file with OCR, make sure you do so within 180 days of when the discrimination took place.
  • In court, even if you have not filed a complaint with your school or with OCR.

Source: Know Your Rights: Pregnant or Parenting? Title IX Protects You From Discrimination At School, Department of Education Office for Civil Rights

Campus Resources

External Resources

Pregnant and Parenting Students’ Rights Toolkit from the National Women’s Law Center

Topics include:

  • A Summary of Pregnant and Parenting Students’ Rights under Title IX.
  • FAQs on mandatory accommodations for Pregnant and Pregnant Students.
  • FAQs on breastfeeding on campus.
  • Avenues to filing complaints with the U.S. Department of Education.
  • An Action Agenda to help students report discrimination to university officials, including a sample letter.
  • A Collection of Government Resources and Assistance for Low-Income Parents

Department of Education OCR Pregnancy or Parental Status Resources

Provides links to policy guidance, case resolutions, and publications related to Title IX and Pregnancy or Parental Status.

NCAA Pregnant & Parenting Student-Athletes

This website provides resources and model best practices for student athletes who become pregnant and/or are parents and the institutions where they study and compete.