By: Priya Mulji
It won’t have escaped your knowledge that recently Priyanka Chopra-Jonas and Nick Jonas recently welcomed a baby girl via surrogacy. The couple announced the birth of their first child via Instagram and it came as a surprise to many people.
This news sparked a heated debate across social media. It became apparent that people, including me, have definite views on the issue of surrogacy, so it can be quite challenging to look at the issue from both sides of the spectrum.
Last year, Indian cinema tackled the subject with acclaimed film Mimi and perhaps it was inspired by the huge number of stars, who in recent years have chosen to go down the surrogacy path.
Growing up, I didn’t hear of a single Indian film star who had chosen to have a child via surrogate mother, but in the past decade celebrities including Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Shilpa Shetty, Karan Johar, Tushar Kapoor, Lisa Ray, Preity Zinta, Ekta Kapoor and Shreyas Talpade have opted for this route.
Some, including famous writer Taslima Nasrin disagree with it because they think poor women are being exploited by the rich and the stars should adopt instead, but perhaps for someone carrying another woman’s child is their way of helping someone bring their child into the world or putting food in their family’s stomachs.
Others argue it is rich celebrities buying babies and a sudden unhealthy celebrity trend that sends out questionable messaging. Whatever anyone says, all those who disagree with surrogacy won’t change their views and they are entitled to them. In that regard, those who agree with it should also have their choices and views respected.
Women have the right to choose what they want to do with her body. With the cost of living ever increasing, women pursuing their careers and putting off motherhood until later in life, it is wonderful that science is giving us the opportunity to become mothers when we are truly ready.
When it comes to people commenting on how a celebrity couple chose to have a surrogate to carry their child, it is no-one’s business apart from theirs. Some articles state that Priyanka and Nick chose to go down the surrogacy route due to distance and them not being able to conceive while Priyanka was ovulating. As someone who is 39, the same age as PC, I understand the challenges the busy actress would have faced. It can have a massive toll on a woman’s body and there is a high risk of miscarriage as you approach 40.
It doesn’t matter how the baby came into the world; if someone else has carried your child, if you adopt or if you choose to have a pet, a mother’s love cannot be taken away from a woman in whatever form it may be. I’ll leave you with an unknown quote: ‘they say it takes a village to raise a child, but sometimes it takes a village to have a child.’