New Straits Times - - World - AFP

Bol­ly­wood su­per­star Karan Jo­har an­nounced yes­ter­day he had be­come a fa­ther to twins through sur­ro­gacy, as In­dia moves closer to con­tro­ver­sially bar­ring sin­gle peo­ple from be­com­ing par­ents.

The 44-year-old film­maker, who is sin­gle, said he was ec­static to be­come a par­ent “with the help of mar­vels of med­i­cal science”, but did not dis­close the iden­tity of the sur­ro­gate who gave birth to his chil­dren — a boy and a girl.

“This was an emo­tional yet a well thought-out de­ci­sion which I have taken af­ter con­sid­er­ing all the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and du­ties that come with be­ing a par­ent,” he wrote on Twit­ter.

Jo­har, one of Bol­ly­wood’s most suc­cess­ful film pro­duc­ers, said his chil­dren were his “world and pri­or­ity” and he was ready to raise them.

His new­born son was chris­tened af­ter his late fa­ther, Yash Jo­har, a cel­e­brated Bol­ly­wood film­maker. His daugh­ter has been named Roohi.

In his au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, An Un-

suit­able Boy, Jo­har had ex­pressed a de­sire to adopt or pur­sue fa­ther­hood through sur­ro­gacy.

He’s not the first Bol­ly­wood star to chart the course, with ac­tor Tusshar Kapoor fa­ther­ing a son last year with a sur­ro­gate.

Sur­ro­gacy is a hot­but­ton is­sue in In­dia, where the “rent-a-womb” in­dus­try is worth be­tween US$500 mil­lion (RM2.2 bil­lion) and US$2.3 bil­lion an­nu­ally, mak­ing it the top des­ti­na­tion for the pro­ce­dure.

In­dia caused an out­cry last year when it drafted a law mak­ing sur­ro­gacy only avail­able to mar­ried lo­cal cou­ples with­out chil­dren, bar­ring sin­gle peo­ple and ho­mo­sex­u­als from this op­tion. The bill is pend­ing be­fore par­lia­ment, but if passed, would out­law com­mer­cial sur­ro­gacy in the coun­try.

Karan Jo­har

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