The Government has recently announced that it will be introducing maternity leave in 2015 to parents through surrogacy. This is a step in the right direction although surrogacy law in the UK remains outdated and needs a thorough root and branch review.
From 2015, intended parents through surrogacy will be eligible for maternity pay and new flexible parental leave if they meet the legal requirements. This follows a response to a consultation on modern workplaces run by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
The new proposals include making intended parents entitled to unpaid leave to attend up to two ante-natal appointments with their surrogate, to share one year’s parental leave post birth between them as well as eligibility to maternity pay. This will help to stop the plight of many intended parents who currently have to carry on working or resign from work to care for their baby, placing enormous stress on them and their family.
The Government’s proposals will be worked out in greater detail next year ahead of their introduction in 2015. The announcement of these proposals gives intended parents through surrogacy greater legal recognition than ever before, although there is still much to be done to place family building through surrogacy on an equal footing with other family building options.