Surrogate mothers entitled to get 180-day maternity leave

Maharashtra: The finance department on Wednesday issued a Government Resolution (GR) making the changes to the leave provisions. It have sanctioned 180 days of maternity leave to women having children through surrogacy.

The women who is seeking leave have to submit an application with an agreement of surrogacy, and certification from a doctor confirming that Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) documents on surrogacy and guidelines have been adequately met.

The GR said. “The employees should demand for the leave in advance and submit proper documents of the surrogacy process like agreement and doctor’s certificate,” it added, “The leave is applicable from the birth of the child and can be availed only once.”

Earlier these leaves were sanctioned only to the women who gives birth naturally or those who went in for adoption. In the past, women employees who went for surrogacy had to take legal recourse to get their due maternity leaves.

Last year the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court had ruled that even a mother getting a child through surrogacy is entitled to maternity leave. Similar ruling was given by Delhi High Court on July 18, 2015.

Justices Vasanti Naik and Anant Badar allowed a 48-year-old teacher maternity leave from December 4, 2014 when her child was born. “If the GR provides maternity leave to an adoptive mother, it’s difficult to gauge why it should be refused to a mother obtaining a child through surrogacy. There can’t be any distinction whatsoever between a mother that adopts and one that begets a child through surrogacy,” said a division bench.