Amend laws to give adoptive mothers equal maternity benefits

Amend laws to give adoptive mothers equal maternity benefits

0 have signed. Let’s get to 35,000!
At 35,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on Change.org!

Hamsaanandini Nanduri started this petition to Smriti Irani (Union Cabinet Minister for Women and Child Development) and

I am an adoptive mother of 2 children. In September 2017, our lives upturned when we became parents of two children overnight. When my children came home, my daughter was 5 years old and my son, 2. Here they were clutching onto each other for dear life because they were with 2 complete strangers who were speaking languages they didn’t understand, and in a strange house in a new city which had to grow into their home. 

We had to get to know each other - our likes and dislikes, win each other’s hearts, build each other’s trust, learn to communicate our feelings and emotions with each other despite language barriers, share our secrets, appreciate new food and create a brand new family. And my then employer gave me a meagre 6 weeks to do this mammoth task. While a biological mother would spend more than 4 times this time with the child. Why shouldn’t I get the same access to my ‘new-born’ children to create from nothing a feeling of a home for them in our family? 

That's because the current Maternity Benefits Law discriminates between mothers who are biological and those who are adoptive like me, even though we love our children as much and will go to the ends of the earth to protect them. The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 today grants maternity leave of 12 weeks only for adoptive mothers who have adopted a child that is less than 3 months old. This means that adoptive mothers who adopted one or more children older than 3 months do not get any maternity benefit from the State. We are left to the mercy of our employers when we choose to build a family through adoption. Why don’t children older than 3 months deserve to get love and care when they come into a new home?

So I urge you to please sign my petition and support me so that we can together demand from (i) the Ministry of Women and Child Development, (ii) the Ministry of Labour and Women Employment and (iii) the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, that the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 be amended to give equal maternity leave (of 26 weeks) to adoptive mothers, irrespective of the age of the child.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 35,000!
At 35,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on Change.org!