Kara Krill of Long Island, New York, is suing for breach of contract and discrimination on the basis of her disability. After her first child was born in 2007, Krill was diagnosed with Asherman's Syndrome, a condition that can cause scar tissue in the uterus and prevent a woman from carrying a pregnancy. In order to have more children, Krill and her husband used a surrogate, who carried and gave birth to twins.
Krill's company, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, gave her 13 weeks of paid maternity leave when her first child was born. But because she was not carrying and giving birth to the twins herself, Cubist would only grant five days of leave, the amount they give parents who adopt.
Krill's complaint argues that since she and her husband are the biological parents of their children — the couple had obtained a prebirth order, signed by a judge, confirming the "legal and genetic parentage of Krill's twins without having to institute adoption proceedings" — she should be given the same paid maternity leave benefits as every other biological mother in the company. Were it not for her disability, she would be receiving paid maternity leave, Krill argues.
[W]hat is the real reason for granting maternity leave?
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.
Readers, what do you think? Should women who use a surrogate get maternity leave?
(image via: http://healthinformationworld.com)