Posted by Fenil Seta
Vijay V Singh (THE TIMES OF INDIA; March 5, 2017)
Bollywood producer-director Karan Johar has become the single parent of twins - a girl and a boy - born through surrogacy last month. Johar wasn't in the city to confirm the news, but BMC officials said the births were registered with its public health department. “The birth registrations were done on Friday,“ BMC executive health officer Dr Padmaja Keskar said. TOI confirmed this from the central government website for birth and death registrations.
The twins were born at Masrani Hospital, Lalubhai Compound, Andheri (W), on February 7. However, Johar hasn't yet informed the BMC about the names of his children. A high-ranking BMC official stated the children have been registered in their birth record as a “baby girl“ and “baby boy“. Incidentally, Johar's close friend and actor Shah Rukh Khan's third baby, AbRam, too, was born in the same hospital to a surrogate mother.
Civic officials stated that the birth registration details list Johar as the children's father, but there is no mention of their mother's name. The BMC has taken the declaration of Dr Masrani and his infertility clinic about the birth.
In June 2016, actor Tusshar Kapoor had announced the birth of his son, Laksshya, through in-vitro fertilisation and surrogacy. However, this prompted the Central government to frame guidelines for the surrogacy segment of infertility treatment. The draft bill bans commercial surrogacy, prohibiting any payment for women taking up surrogacy. It also bans surrogacy for singles, foreigners and persons of Indian origin. Union Health Minister J P Nadda introduced the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill in the Lok Sabha in November 2016. In January, the Rajya Sabha chairman referred the Bill to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on health and asked it to submit its report within three months.
In his recently released autobiography, 'An Unsuitable Boy,' Johar had expressed a desire to adopt a child or have a surrogate child as his old-age insurance policy. “I don't know what I'm going to do about it but I feel like I would like to be a parent. I don't know how it's going to happen but I do feel the need because I have plenty of love to offer and I'd like to take it forward. This feeling needs a release and requires a platform. And that platform could be by being a parent,“ he had said during the release of his book.
In June 2013, actor Shah Rukh Khan's third child was born with the help of a surrogate mother at the same hospital. At that time too, BMC officials confirmed receiving a birth report with details that a baby boy was born on May 27 to parents listed as Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Shah Rukh Khan at Masrani Hospital for Women in Andheri. Among the first celebrities to publicly acknowledge surrogacy were actor Aamir Khan and his wife Kiran who announced the birth of their son in 2011.
He wears many hats—director, producer, actor, talk show host, emcee and author. But Karan Johar’s latest production is the one dearest to his heart. Last month Johar, 44, became a single father via surrogacy. He now has twins —a girl and a boy — and has named them Roohi and Yash. Yash is his late father’s name, and Roohi is a rearrangement of his mother’s name Hiroo. Their names were registered on Friday at the BMC. A top BMC health officer confirmed the news on the condition of anonymity. The twins were delivered by Dr Makrand Masrani.
Namrata Zakaria and Tanvi Deshpande (MUMBAI MIRROR; March 5, 2017)
Karan is the second single father from the movie business. His friend Tusshar Kapoor sired a son, Laksshya, in June last year.
Commercial surrogacy in India has been legal since 2002. India has emerged a leader in international surrogacy and is promoted as ‘fertile tourism’. However, the legal aspects surrounding surrogacy are diverse and complex. In India, one of the parents must be a donor, all medical and insurance related expenses must be borne by the commissioning parent and such.
Karan who has often spoken of his desire to have children may well have been impelled to do so now by the prospect of upcoming surrogacy laws which will make it tougher for single people to have children through this route. The director who has been launching increasingly younger stars might well, in a few years time, be looking closer home.