Women employees of the central government who have a child through surrogacy shall be entitled to maternity leave, according to an official order of the Department of Personnel and Training.
They can get paid maternity leave of 26 weeks (about 180 days).
The ministry has written to all central government departments about a Delhi High Court order of 2015 on the issue.
"All ministries/departments are advised to give wide publicity of its contents to the concerned officers," the personnel ministry said in its latest directive to all the ministries and enclosed a copy of the court's order with it.
The court verdict had come on a plea by a Kendriya Vidyalaya teacher who had twins through a surrogate mother but was denied maternity leave as she was not the biological mother.
“A female employee, who is the commissioning mother, would be entitled to apply for maternity leave,” the court had held.
Based on material placed before it, the competent authority would decide on the timing and the period for which maternity leave ought to be granted to a commissioning mother who adopts the surrogacy route, the court said.
The scrutiny would be keener and more detailed, when leave is sought by a female employee who is the commissioning mother at the prenatal stage, it said.
When maternity leave is declined at the prenatal stage, the competent authority would pass a reasoned order having regard to the material, if any, placed before it by the female employee who seeks to avail maternity leave, the court order said.
In a situation where both the commissioning mother and the surrogate mother are employees, who are otherwise eligible for leave (one on the ground that she is a commissioning mother and the other on the ground that she is the pregnant woman), suitable adjustment would be made by the competent authority, it said.