Friday, October 11, 2013

EU debate: who gets the maternity leave in a surrogate birth?

The WSJ has the story: Surrogate Births Stir Divisions in EU--Long Contentious, The Practice is Now Splitting Europe's top court

"EU laws entitle women in the 28-country bloc to at least 14 weeks of paid maternity leave, although many states offer longer leave than that.

"The laws on surrogacy, by contrast, are much less harmonized. Eight EU member states, among them Germany, France, Italy and Spain, prohibit women from carrying another woman's child altogether. Those nations say they fear the practice could lead to the exploitation of women in financial difficulty or create emotional problems for surrogate mothers who give up the child they carried to birth.

"Other European states prohibit payments that go beyond compensation for medical expenses or restrict the use of fertility treatments or egg donation in surrogacy arrangements.

"In the U.S., laws on surrogacy also vary from state to state, with some placing limits on how much money surrogate mothers can be paid. Since there's no federal right to paid maternity leave, it's generally up to employers to design their own policies. The federal Family Medical Leave Act allows workers—men and women—to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to take care of a relative, provided the company they work for has at least 50 employees.

"Despite the limitations, surrogacy is becoming increasingly popular in Europe. Many childless couples look to other countries, such as Ukraine, India or the U.S.— to find surrogate mothers."

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