How Maternity Benefits Apply in Surrogate Situations
Surrogacy is a process that has many factors requiring careful consideration. One factor that often gets overlooked is maternity benefits and how this applies to the surrogate mother as well as the intended parents. We want to make sure that all parties involved in a surrogate situation understand how these benefits apply to them.
Because the surrogate mother is still carrying and giving birth to a child, she should still qualify to receive maternity leave from her job when the baby is born. This benefit is designed to allow her to recover from the labor and delivery, and so it is still something that she needs.
In some cases, the surrogate mother will request that the intended parents pay for additional time off from the job. This is something that will be negotiated from the beginning so the 2 parties can reach an agreement.
As we’ve said, maternity leave is typically seen as a type of short-term disability leave, allowing the mother to recover from delivery. Since the intended mother is not going through the delivery, she typically will not qualify for traditional maternity leave. Similarly, the intended father will not usually qualify for traditional paternity leave, which is given to help his partner in her recovery.
However, most employers offer an alternative type of leave that can be applied in surrogate situations. Different providers have different names for it, but we will refer to it as “adoption leave,” as this is the type of situation it is typically designed for.
This type of leave is designed to give adoptive parents the opportunity to stay home and bond with their new child. Though you may not technically be “adopting” a child in a surrogate situation, this type of leave still applies, as you still deserve the time to stay home with your new baby. Typically, adoption leave is 4 weeks long, as opposed to the usual 6 weeks given for traditional maternity leave.
If you have any other questions about how maternity benefits will apply to your situation, contact us or speak to your healthcare provider.