Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Motherhood Via Surrogacy Not Approved By Law,No maternity leave for this mother

Ahmedabad: Pushpa Solanki, 45, waited for 20 years before becoming mother to a baby girl. But now, when the child is in her lap, she realises that there is no law that considers her a mother and grants her leave to bond with the little angel. 
   Solanki finds herself discriminated just because her child was delivered through surrogate method. Ironically, while the Centre grants 135 days of leave to mothers who have adopted a child who is up to one year of age, there is no provision that allows leave to a woman who becomes mother using a surrogate womb.
   Solanki’s woes are compounded since the baby is born premature, weighing 2.2 kg, and needs her to be at home to protect it from infection. “The mother is a nurse who has spent 20 years in service looking after the ailing. Now, when it is her turn to offer love and care to her own biological child which also has her name on the birth certificate, there is no legal provision to grant her leave. This is discrimination; especially when the law acknowledges a mother needs leave to bond with a child she has not delivered and grants leave to mothers who adopt babies”, said fertility specialist Dr Nayana Patel.
   Solanki’s is a moving case. All these 20 years, she also went through emotional trauma due to her inability to have a child. Desperate, she went from one doctor to another and underwent 15-odd IVF cycles in the hope of having her seed growing in her own womb. All failed.
   Finally, she decided to hire a surrogate who conceived the baby. But now, Solanki’s employers are not in a position to grant her leave as there is no provision that allows it when the child is delivered through surrogacy. The nurse is on paid leave looking after her baby who is hospitalised for a stomach infection. “Rules should change. Laws which acknowledge mother and child need time to bond when it is an adoption case should acknowledge similar time is needed for children born through assisted reproduction as well,“ said Patel. 

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