The Maharashtra government has become the first one in the country to offer maternity leave to women employees having a child through surrogacy.
T he Maharashtra government deserves a round of applause. Through a resolution, recently issued by the government, the Finance Department has given sanction to 180 days of maternal leave for women who are having a baby through surrogacy.
The government resolution, however, makes it mandatory for the woman employee to take the leave at one stretch.
The resolution also says that the woman employee will be provided the special maternity leave, only if she applies for it in advance.
The employee will also need to furnish proof of the child surrender agreement she has with the surrogate mother.
Photo credit: Flickr/mahalie stackpole
The woman employee having a baby through surrogacy will also have to submit documents proving that the procedure is in line with the surrogacy law set by the Indian Medical Research Council.
According to the Times of India,” All papers will be verified and only then the leave will be granted. The government understands that even if it’s not a natural birth, the woman needs time to bond with the child,” said an official from Mantralaya.
The leave can be availed from the day the child is born.
Over the last few years, there have been judgments in specific cases, allowing women, having children through surrogacy, to go on leave. In August 2015, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court had ruled that even a mother having a child through surrogacy is entitled to maternity leave.
The Delhi High Court had also given a similar ruling last year.
However, the Maharashtra government is the first one to issue such a resolution.
Currently, the maternity leave rules give 180 days for pregnant women and 90 days for women adopting children.
This leave can be availed only once during service and only by an employee who doesn’t already have a child. This leave can also be availed by women working in the State’s educational institutions and universities.