Maharashtra has become the first state to provide special child care leave to women employees who opt for surrogacy.
The state government on Wednesday issued a government resolution (GR) to implement this on the lines of regular maternity leave. Women government employees, including those employed in state-run educational institutes, universities can avail 180 days leave in such cases, after their child’s birth.
Experts said that very few Indian couples opt for surrogacy – the rate being around 2%, but this can be useful for women who opt for surrogacy. Dr Duru Shah of Gynaecworld, a fertility clinic in Mumbai, said, “We can induce biological mothers to breastfeed the baby for which such leave can be beneficial.”
At an average 10 to 15 surrogate-related treatments are done annually at an infertility facility in Mumbai. “A four-month maternity leave should be enough. Owing to absence of any legislation, surrogacy is still being practice in accordance with guidelines from the government and in such scenario government discussing maternity leave is little early, said, Dr Anjali Malpani, who runs an infertility clinic in Colaba.