Will an employee for whom a surrogate mother gives birth to a child be entitled to paid maternity leave?
No, the intended parent of a child who is born under a surrogacy arrangement is not entitled to either maternity leave or statutory maternity pay as these benefits are available only to employees who give birth. However, the employee may be entitled to adoption leave and pay and other types of family leave.
Adoption leave and pay are available to employees who become the legal parents of a child by applying for a parental order in a surrogacy situation. Adoption leave and pay are also available if the intended parent adopts the child through an approved adoption agency. In either of these situations, the partner of the employee on adoption leave may be eligible for paternity leave and pay and the couple may also be eligible to take shared parental leave.
Employees for whom a surrogate mother has a child may also be entitled to take ordinary parental leave, which is unpaid and depends on the employee having parental responsibility for the child and having gained a minimum of one year's continuous service with the employer. The total entitlement to parental leave is 18 weeks per child, to be taken before the child's 18th birthday.