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Mum’s campaign for full maternity rights taken up by MP

Jane Kassim (left) with her cousin Amy Bellamy, who has volunteered to be a surrogate mother for Jane and is now expecting twins.

Jane Kassim (left) with her cousin Amy Bellamy, who has volunteered to be a surrogate mother for Jane and is now expecting twins.

AN MP is backing mums who have babies through surrogates, in their bid for full maternity rights.

Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey has taken up the case for Rotherham woman Jane Kassim, 30, whose cousin Amy Bellamy from Rawmarsh bore her twins.

Teaching assistant Jane was told at the age of 15 that she would never carry a child. But she now has two daughters thanks to 26-year old Amy, who conceived Isla Jane and Ivy May through IVF procedures using Jane’s eggs.

Mrs Kassim said her daughters were the “most wonderful gift in the world” after they were born in March this year.

But her personal experience has highlighted the difficulties that surround surrogacy.

Although Mrs Kassim was allowed to take leave from the school where she works, she was not entitled to maternity leave.

Mr Healey shares her concern that mothers who have their children through a surrogate currently have no entitlement to maternity leave or statutory maternity pay, even though they are biological parents.

Mrs Kassim wants equal rights for women like herself, and on Tuesday John Healey brought a Ten Minute Rule Bill in the Commons, titled: “That leave be given to bring in a Bill to make provision to introduce leave, pay and allowance arrangements for parents of children born to surrogate mothers equal to those available to parents whose children are born to them; and for connected purposes.”

Mr Healey aims to close the legal loophole, to allow mums by surrogates the same rights as parents who give birth or adopt. He said: “Mums whose babies are born through surrogates need this support just like any other new mother. Maternity rights are to help mothers and their newborn babies through the earliest months of the child’s life, when time together is most needed.”

The Ten Minute Bill has cross-party support, and was being heard as the Times went to press this week.

 

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