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“I think it’s great, I’m a huge fan of it. Here is the Swedish state subsidizing it for both parents. It’s almost too good to be true,” said Joel Sherwood, a 35-year-old American living in Sweden.

He took more than six months off work to stay home with his daughter, Mary Lee. When he told his friends back home, they were flabbergasted that his employer was OK with it, and that the government would foot the bill.

“The more you get into the details of it, the more floored they get,” Mr. Sherwood said.

In the U.S. there is no nationwide policy for government-subsidized parental leave. Some states, including California and New Jersey, have begun adopting such policies, but most parents are instead offered 12 weeks of unpaid leave. Some companies offer paid leave to their employees.