Mother Denied Maternity Leave After Using Surrogate

Libby Kane
Posted

Question: Are mothers who used surrogates really mothers?

If you, like us, answered “Duh! Of course!,” then you’ll be similarly mystified by the case of Jane Kassim, a British mom of twin girls who was offered only 13 weeks of maternity leave (compared to their standard 52) because her daughters were born via surrogate.

The Huffington Post tells her story, which is that Jane is biologically unable to bear children herself, so her cousin stepped in to carry the twins. Under United Kingdom law, mothers who use surrogates aren’t entitled to the same length of maternity leave as mothers who birth their children themselves—but that may change now that Jane’s case was taken up by a member of Parliament, and a petition for equal maternity leave has launched on her behalf (with over 1,400 signatures so far).

This news comes right on the heels of the Australian maternity bonus. Yes, you read that right: bonus. At Insurance Australia Group, one of the country’s biggest companies, new mothers receive twice their usual salary during their first six weeks back at work (on top of three months of paid leave). Impressive!

For comparison, the United States offers a standard six weeks of maternity leave.

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