Surrogacy row: Affidavit reveals Nayanthara-Vignesh 'registered' their marriage in 2016
On October 9, filmmaker Vignesh Shivan and actor Nayanthara announced the birth of their twin baby boys and shared a series of adorable photos. However, since the couple got hitched in June, it triggered a debate about whether the babies were adopted or born through surrogacy. Now, the couple has issued a clarification through an affidavit submitted to the Tamil Nadu Health Department.
What do the Indian laws say about surrogacy?
Indian laws ban commercial surrogacy but allow altruistic surrogacy. Commercial surrogacy "includes surrogacy or its related procedures undertaken for a monetary benefit or reward (in cash or kind) exceeding the basic medical expenses and insurance coverage during the pregnancy." Altruistic surrogacy "involves no monetary compensation to the surrogate mother other than the medical expenses and insurance coverage during the pregnancy."
'The couple got their marriage registered six months ago'
Reportedly, the affidavit mentions that the couple "got their marriage registered six years ago." They have also submitted all marriage-related documents to the concerned officials along with the affidavit. The 2021 Surrogacy (Regulation) Act states that a couple can opt for surrogacy only if they have been married for five years or more. So, Shivan and Nayanthara don't seem to have skipped that rule.
The surrogate mother is Nayanthara's 'close relative,' said reports
Reportedly, the aforementioned act also states that the surrogate mother must be someone close to the couple. The latest media reports also hint that, per the affidavit, the mother is Nayanthara's relative who lives in the UAE. Meanwhile, government officials have also identified the Chennai hospital where the twins were born. Moreover, the surrogacy agreement is believed to have been signed in December 2021.
Several other Indian celebrities have embraced parenthood through surrogacy
This isn't the first time an Indian celebrity has embraced parenthood through surrogacy. Shah Rukh Khan-Gauri Khan welcomed their son Abram in 2013, and Karan Johar welcomed his twins Roohi-Yash through surrogacy in 2017. Priyanka Chopra, too, chose the same route and announced the arrival of her daughter—Malti Marie—in January 2022. Kashmera Shah-Krushna Abhishek, Tusshar Kapoor, and Shilpa Shetty also welcomed children via surrogacy.