Karan Johar Has Baby Twins Sans Wife: What Is Surrogacy? Is It Legal In India?

As Karan Johar has baby twins without having a wife, surrogacy in India seems to be "in." India has always been the favorite country for foreigners in terms of having surrogate babies. Many a time, people go for illegal, or at least immoral, ways of going through the process. It might be easier to find a woman in this developing country who is willing to bear a child for money. However, surrogacy in India has become a recent trend in Bollywood. As more celebrities in India are going for it, the so-called stigma associated with it appears to fade away. People have started talking about it openly, thanks to celebrities like Johar who became a father without having a partner. More people are now interested to know a few things. What is surrogacy? Is it legal in India?

Surrogacy is still a complicated topic for many, especially in India where a huge part of the population is illiterate. The idea is unclear even for many of those who are conventionally educated. The reason is simple. It is not a common procedure. Most people in the world still bear kids in the conventional way. As there are more complications – both medically and socially, more people are going for surrogacy. The process is still controversial. If you are in the United States, you may like to check the local law regarding the procedure.

What Is Surrogacy?

Karan Johar got baby twins, and he didn't need a wife for that. The Indian film producer and director is believed to be single, which makes him one of many people who want a child but do not want to get married. Men and women who, for some reasons, are unable to give birth to children could go for surrogacy. At times, some women have medical complications like issues related to their uterus. For homosexual people, surrogacy has become a realistic way to become a parent.

There are two types of surrogacy -- traditional and gestational. In tradition surrogacy, the surrogate mother has sperm of the father artificially put in her womb, which means there is no sexual intercourse involved in the process. Since the woman uses her egg for the pregnancy, she is the biological mother of the child. Additionally, people can even use donor sperms for this process.

Surrogacy in India is a $400-million industry.
Surrogacy in India is a $400-million industry. [Image by Allison Joyce/AP Photo]

In gestational surrogacy, people use "in vitro fertilization," more popularly known as IVF. In this process, the surrogate mother carries the sperm of the father and the egg of the mother in her uterus. She does not have any genetic relation with the child. She carries the child in her womb until birth. In this case, the surrogate mother is the "birth mother," while the woman who gave her egg is called the biological mother. In America, this process is more popular than traditional surrogacy. According to WebMD, around 750 babies are born every year through gestational surrogacy.

Is It Legal In India?

It is unclear if Karan Johar went for gestational or traditional surrogacy to have his baby twins since he does not have a wife. But, he sure has gone through the legal way of doing it. Surrogacy in India is still a sensitive issue. The Indian Council of Medical Research laid out surrogacy guidelines in 2002, which made it legal in the country but failed to provide enough legal restrictions for illicit usage. According to a UN-backed study in 2012, there are more than 3000 surrogacy clinics in India. Those clinics run a $400 million surrogacy industry in the country.

Karan Johar has baby twins without having a wife
Karan Johar's babies were born in the same hospital where SRK had his third child. [Image by Ian Gavan/Getty Images]

India formulated a draft ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) Bill in 2010. The Indian Express reports that it was never passed as a law. However, the bill is accused of not giving enough legal protection to the surrogate mother. The bill does not allow homosexual couples or single foreigners to go for the process. The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill was introduced in November 2016. The bill was approved but not passed. Neither of the bills allows single parents to go for surrogacy in India. That is why it is unclear how Karan Johar, being single, was allowed to have the kids.

Karan Johar recently released his autobiography, An Unsuitable Boy. According to the Times of India, his baby twins were born at Masrani Hospital in Andheri (West) in Mumbai on February 7. Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan, Karan's close friend, had his third child through surrogacy at the same hospital. Aamir Khan, another hugely popular Indian movie star, also had his baby son with wife Kiran Rao through surrogacy.

[Featured Image by Ian Gavan/Getty Images]