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HindustanTimes Tue,02 Sep 2014

Aamir Khan flooded with queries on IVF surrogacy

Shara Ashraf, Navdeep Kaur Marwah, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 06, 2011
First Published: 18:08 IST(6/12/2011) | Last Updated: 00:57 IST(7/12/2011)

Amir Khan and Kiran Rao’s seven-day-old baby boy born through IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) surrogacy, comes as a blessing for not only the celeb couple but also a large number of couples facing difficulty in conceiving.

“Aamir’s decision will encourage families to consider IVF surrogacy for women who may have difficulties in carrying their baby,” says Dr Firuza Parikh, who heads the IVF department of Jaslok Hospital Mumbai, where Aamir and Kiran underwent the procedure.

In fact, city-based fertility experts say that since Khan’s announcement, they have been flooded with queries. On Tuesday, Dr Nandita Palshetkar at the Fortis Bloom Fertility Centre, received over 15 queries about IVF surrogacy. “Aamir has done a great job bringing the procedure into the mainstream. A lot of our patients who were uncertain have now decided to go ahead with it,” she adds.

“There is a lot of social stigma associated with the procedure, but the fact that a celeb has endorsed the cause, will encourage couples,” says Dr Kaberi Banerjee, IVF specialist, Max Healthcare.

Experts are also hopeful that this will help shed some myths around the procedure. “Unlike traditional surrogacy, in IVF surrogacy the child has no genetic contribution from the surrogate. Aamir’s case has helped explain that clearly,” says Dr Rita Bakshi of Adiva Centre. 

Aamir-Kiran

The couple is also getting a thumbs up from the film fraternity. “By not hiding the fact that they have used a surrogate, Aamir becomes a role model. It will make people think that if Aamir can do it, so can we,” says adman Prahlad Kakkar.

“When an icon like Aamir opts for surrogacy and talks about such a medical procedure openly, it helps remove taboos associated with it,” says filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt. “Thanks to Aamir, couples will be able to discuss such things more openly now,” says actor Raveena Tandon, who’s been considering IVF surrogacy for a third child.

What is IVF surrogacy?
In IVF surrogacy or gestational surrogacy a pregnancy is created by the egg and sperm of the parent couple. The surrogate is just a carrier and is not genetically related to the child. While the procedure costs Rs. 1 lakh upwards, a surrogate earns Rs. 3-5 lakh and is paid Rs. 7-8,000 per month during the pregnancy.

A surrogate shares her story
Kesar (name changed) is a 29-year-old mother of three children, who has taken up a surrogate pregnancy to earn money for the house. This is her story...

I  am seven months pregnant with the child of an American couple and I will be paid R4 lakh. My husband works at construction sites and it’s tough to make ends meet. I already have three children and I want them to live a good life. When I was offered the  surrogacy contract, I was confused but my husband convinced me to go ahead as the money will secure our own children’s future. I was explained the baby biologically belongs to the American couple and I am just like a vessel, but even then, I would like to hold the baby in my arms at least once.

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