Legal question arises on Woman denied maternity leave for tending to child born through surrogacy

Wednesday, Oct 29, 2014,17:28 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Kochi | Denied maternity leave to take care of her child born through surrogacy, a woman employee of a government undertaking in Kerala has approached the state high court for relief.
Petitioner P Geetha, Deputy General Manager with the Kerala Livestock Development Board, was not granted maternity leave on the ground that her child had been delivered by surrogacy.
She submitted that her only son was killed in a road accident years ago and since then she had been trying to have another child. She had entered into an arrangement with an institute in Hyderabad to have a baby through surrogacy after 20 years of unsuccessful infertility treatment. Her second son was born on June 18 this year, she stated.
When she applied for maternity leave to take care of her second child, the board rejected it on the ground that the Staff Rules and Regulation had no provision to grant leave to a woman employee who got a baby through surrogacy.
She stated that the purpose of granting maternity leave was to take care of the newborn. There was no justification in refusing maternity leave to her on the ground that the baby was ‘not born the normal way’. The care needed for babies born under normal circumstances and surrogacy was the same.