As an encouraging move, the Government of Kerala has allowed maternity leave for 6 months and other benefits to intended mothers of children born through surrogacy. The following is the copy of the governmental order passed in this regard:
After the Kalaiselvi case decided by the Madras High Court, we have the Kerala High Court presented with a similar case this time.
“Whether an commissioning mother is entitled to maternity leave after the birth of the child?”
This is the question that comes before the Kerala High Court on 29/10/2014. Geetha, an employee of the Kerala Livestock Development Board had taken up a surrogacy arrangement as a result of which she had been blessed with a boy on June 18th 2014. When she had made an application for maternity leave with her employer, the same was refused stating that the rules prescribed does not make provision for a child born through surrogacy. The core basis for refusal of the maternity leave for Geetha seems to be fact that she is not the biological mother of the child (i.e.) she did not gestate the child.
As can be seen, the importance of maternity leave is being hugely undermined by the governmental corporations. Maternity break is the period when the mother and the child would be able to bond with love care and affection. State agencies should be more careful when rejecting an application for something relating to a basic human requirement to bond with a child.
The court transcripts are not available and I am not aware of the arguments that went forth in the case. I shall update of any further information that I may come across.