Do Moms Who Adopt or Use a Surrogate Still Deserve Maternity Leave?

Family Matters on 09.16.11

When Kara Krill gave birth to her first child in 2007, her company, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, allowed her 13 weeks of maternity leave. So when two more babies joined her family in May, she expected the same: Instead, the company gave her five days, the same amount given to adoptive parents, because her twins were carried by a surrogate.

Krill was unable to carry the babies herself because of scarring in her uterus, a result of Asherman's syndrome. She sued Cubist, claiming that the syndrome is a disability and that, since the babies are biologically hers, she's entitled to the same amount of maternity leave as other new parents.

Time Healthland sums up the controversy over the suit:

If maternity leave is offered so that women can recover from what is, at best, the incredibly messy and strenuous business of giving birth, then new mothers like Krill who use surrogates would not really deserve paid leave, since they are not doing the hard yards of labor and delivery.

But paid maternity leave could also be regarded the same way as paid leave for jury duty — something a company does out of civic responsibility. Supporting new mothers as they bond with their children, learn to care for them and give them a good start is beneficial for society and for the survival of the species.

What do you think: Should mothers who have their children via a surrogate get the same maternity leave as women who carry the babies themselves?

More from Time Healthland.

Photo: LamourMichelle Photography/Creative Commons

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