My girlfriend and I have started thinking of the possibility of moving to US (probably New York city) after finishing our PhDs, which should happen in about two years. We are then in the age when it is time to start reproducing, and this is indeed a major concern I am having about our plans. Not that I have anything against living with children in NY for some years, but I'm more worried about the whole "parental situation" in the states. In Sweden we are rather spoiled when it comes to parental benefits, and I am aware there exist nothing alike in the US. To give you an idea of what I am used to I will quote some lines from the webpage http://www.fk.se/sprak/eng/foralder/ of the Swedish "Forsakringskassan" (should be translated to something like the "Agency of social securicy"). To clearify, the days of parental benefit is assured by the law, and your employer cannot fire you for using them. Using a majority of the days is the standard. During days with parental benefit you recieve an amount based on your current sallary. For a majority of the days (390) the income will be 80% of your sallary, up to a maximum annual sallary of approximately 50k USD. If your child gets sick you have the right to stay home with temporary parential benefits: Also, there is some extra free days for the father in connection with the birth of the child: As you see, having children in Sweden is not much of a big deal...well, at least not when it comes to the economic and job parts. You don't have to leave your children at day nursery during (at least) the first year and you are able to stay home with them when they are sick, all without ruining your economy or loosing your job. As I have understood, the US law provides basically no such protection for parents, but all such things have to be negotiated with you employer. I have also understood that there is nothing like "getting payed while staying home with children". If you manage to get some days off it will certainly be without any sallary. However, it is not the economic part I find problematic. (After all, I expect a higher sallary in US compared to here.) Instead I worry about how to have children without one of us having to give up his/her career (which is not really an option). As I guess a lot of couples must have been in this situation I hope for some good advice. How can one manage to both have careers and children in the US? Is the only way to leave the children to (expensive) day nursery basically as soon as they are born? How much (unpayed) parental leave has one legally right to without having to negotiate with the employer? Is there any private insurancies one can get to improve the situation? How sympathic is a "typical" US employer about their employees having children? Do companies sometimes/often arrange day nursery themselves for ther employers? And so on...I hardly now anything about how this works in US and don't really know what to ask, so please share your experiences!