New law following Rotherham campaign

John Healey, MP
John Healey, MP

A new law has been introduced giving parents having children through surrogacy the same maternity leave and pay as those having their own or adopting - thanks to a campaign started in Rotherham.

The Children and Families Act gained royal assent last week after a campaign was launched in January 2012 when cousins Jane Kassim, from Clifton, and Amy Bellamy, from Rawmarsh, went to see MP John Healey.

Amy was carrying twin girls for Jane and husband Adis, but Jane wasn’t eligible for maternity leave or pay.

Jane and Adis were only entitled to 13 weeks’ unpaid parental leave, even though they would be caring for the babies straight after the birth.

Mr Healey said: “This campaign began in Rotherham and I am delighted the work we did here and in London and the strong arguments we put together convinced the Government to change the law.

“Jane knew it would be too late for her to benefit but she and Amy should be extremely proud that by highlighting this unfairness they have helped dozens of future families across the country in similar situations.

“This is a victory for Jane, mums like her and it is a victory for common sense and common justice.”