Posts Tagged ‘maternity rights’

Mothers who have babies through surrogates deserve equal rights

17/04/2012, 01:38:20 PM

by John Healey

Today I’m bringing a Ten Minute Rule Bill as a first step towards closing a legal loophole meaning mums who have babies through surrogates aren’t entitled to any maternity leave or pay.

I’m doing so on behalf of two Rotherham women who came to see me at one of my constituency advice surgeries in January.

Amy Bellamy was seven months pregnant with twins for her cousin Jane Kassim. Jane had been told at 15 she could never carry children and Amy had selflessly offered to be a surrogate.

When Amy became pregnant it was the news Jane and her husband had longed for. Implntation of Jane’s fertilised eggs had failed twice, so they were elated when the third attempt was a success. Then they found out they were expecting twin girls!

Like any other mother Jane started to prepare for the birth.

She asked her employer for maternity leave, but was stunned to find out that she had no legal right to maternity leave or pay. She had fully expected to take up to 52 weeks off and get 39 weeks’ pay, just as mothers who have their own babies or adopt are able to do.

I was also astonished to find this gap in the law when I checked the facts.

Maternity rights are to help mothers and their newly born babies through the earliest months of the child’s life, when time together is most needed.

Mums like Jane need this support just like any other new mother. They nearly always start to care for their baby full-time soon after the birth. It’s unfair and unreasonable to deny mothers whose babies are born through surrogates the rights that those giving birth themselves or adopting automatically have.


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