The ruling given by Kerala high court in favor of biological mothers of surrogate babies is a milestone in Surrogacy in India.
The ruling was given by justice Dama Seshadri Naidu while considering the plea of a woman who was denied maternity leave for taking care of her newborn surrogate baby.
It was P Geetha, deputy general manager at Kerala Livestock Development Board, who filed the petition challenging denial of maternity leave as she was not the biological mother of the child. The surrogate mother had delivered the baby on June 18th this year.
Geetha opted for surrogacy as her only son died in a road accident and as she was unable to conceive again, even after taking fertility drugs for close to two decades. When the delivery of the surrogate child neared, she applied for maternity leave. To her shock, the plea for leave was turned down by her department citing the reason that she is not the biological mother of the child.
Citing lack of rules to allow maternity leave for a foster mother, the department informed her that she can submit a medical certificate and avail medical leave with loss of pay once her half-pay leave eligible for 20 days are exhausted.
Questioning the denial of maternity leave at the high court through advocate M Gopikrishnan Nambiar, she contended that she has to look after the child regardless of the circumstances in which it was born and that the care required for a surrogate baby is the same as any baby.