As celebrities are increasingly adopting surrogacy, the procedure is slowly losing the stigma attached to it.
Lisa Ray recently introduced her twin daughters to the world and has been as open about her journey towards motherhood, as she was about her battle against cancer. With a large number of celebrities conceiving their children via surrogacy, it seems to have become a trend. Bollywood stars like Shahrukh and Gauri Khan, Farah Khan and Shirish Kunder, Sohail and Seema Khan are no strangers to this procedure. Nicole Kidman, Sarah Jessica Parker and Cristiano Ronaldo also adopted the method. We find out what makes surrogacy so desirable.
“It is difficult about this subject because it really depends on the circumstances of the individual. If maternal health is the reason then it is valid, as was the case with Lisa Ray. Nature has made pregnancy so wholesome that the maternal hormone, prolactin, supports the mother’s love for the baby. The advantages of breastfeeding also cannot be undermined. The technology, expertise and willingness of another woman to participate in this procedure are a gift to humanity. However, it needs to be used judicially,” says Niru Kumar, senior psychologist.
But surrogacy has often been criticised for several reasons. “In the days gone by, those who couldn’t conceive, adopted within families to ensure the purity of their bloodline. Others would request their siblings and close relatives to conceive, gestate and deliver a baby on their behalf. Fortunately, now science allows both biological and traditional surrogacy. In recent times, many celebrities have openly shared that they have used surrogacy to have kids. It takes great courage to be transparent about matters that have traditionally been guarded. When trendsetters make such contemporary choices and talk about it openly, they inspire many others to embrace such solutions. This helps reshape societal thinking,” says relationship expert, Suzy Singh.
Surrogacy is one of the assisted reproductive technologies that involves a woman carrying and bearing a child for another woman. “It is becoming more common as people are deciding to have children when they are older or have physiological difficulties,” says Mamta Shah, senior psychologist.
However, the procedure is not without psychological implications. “This has been a controversial subject for a couple of decades. The essential bond between the mother and child usually begins during pregnancy and continues after childbirth. The biological bond that is created due to oxytocin, plays an important role in helping the mother and the child. This can lead to potential emotional upheavals in the surrogate mother. A separation from the newborn can be very difficult. Postpartum depression, anger and guilt are potential risks to the surrogate mother. Although surrogacy allows many couples to enjoy parenthood, it comes with its difficulties. Hence, counselling and thorough assessment by both the commissioning couple and the surrogate mother are of utmost importance,” she adds.
Lisa Ray, who survived cancer, never gave up on her hopes of becoming a mother and took a courageous step towards parenthood at the age of 46. Senior Gynaecologist, Rita Bakshi thinks it is an inspiration. “With this, the orthodox and stereotypical thinking should take a step back. It should be a motivation for all those going through the same pain,” she opines.
Women with infertile medical condition have always faced social stigma and isolation. However, life coach, Sunil Vatsyayana is against commercial surrogacy. “I think surrogacy should be an exception and not a mainstream alternative to natural pregnancy. The commercial use of surrogacy should be discouraged,” he signs off.