Woman who had a baby using a surrogate claims
her human rights have been breached because
she has not been allowed to have maternity pay
'I am just like any other parent of a newborn and my son and his needs are the
same as any other baby'
A woman is fighting for the right to get
maternity pay despite having a baby
using a surrogate mother.
She is taking Iain Duncan Smith, the
Work and Pensions Secretary, to the
High Court claiming her human rights
are being breached.
The woman, from Kent, says that even
though she did not give birth to her son
she is entitled to paid leave to look after
and bond with him.
She told the Sunday Times: 'Having my
son via surrogacy does not change the
fact that I want to and need to be there
to care for him and bond with him in the
early months of his life.
'I am just like any other parent of a
newborn and my son and his needs are
the same as any other baby.'
The mother, to be named as RKA in court documents, says she 'feels
judged' for her inability to have a child naturally.
Her case is being brought at the same time as a legal challenge from
Surrogacy UK which wants a judicial review of regulations barring
maternity pay to mothers who use surrogates.
There are now about 140 surrogate births every year and the numbers
Currently, surrogates are paid a maternity allowance and given leave
while in adoption cases, the birth and legal mothers are guaranteed pay
up to 39 weeks and can take 52 weeks leave.
In the case of RKA , a medical problem meant she could not carry a baby,
so the couple had IVF treatment and then embryos were implanted in a
surrogate in September last year.
Her company reportedly said it was not legally required to give her paid
leave or time off, when she asked about her benefits. They offered her 52
weeks unpaid leave.
In May, she contacted her employers about coming back to work, but was
made redundant two months later.
She missed out on payment protection because her unpaid leave did not
count in the same way as maternity and adoption leave.
RKA's lawyer Merry Varney told the Sunday Times: 'We hope that
through bringing these cases parents of children born via surrogacy can
be considered equal to those fortunate to have a family through natural