Enquiries about surrogacy see surge, IVF clinics say it's Shah Rukh effect

Enquiries about surrogacy see surge, IVF clinics say it's Shah Rukh effect

For seven years, fertility experts tried to persuade the childless couple to  go for surrogacy. Several attempts at in vitro fertilization had failed, but the two were adamant and cited family values and societal pressures for the decision against surrogacy.

So, when the couple approached an IVF clinic on Monday and opted for surrogacy, Dr Archana Dhawan Bajaj, a fertility expert at The Nurture Clinic was surprised.
But what has surprised her even more is the increase in the number of enquiries about surrogacy her clinic has received since the media reports of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan opting for a child through surrogacy started doing the rounds.
“The enquiries have increased dramatically. What is surprising is that more and more locals are calling up,” said Dr Bajaj.

“We had couples mainly from outstation and overseas who opted or even enquired about surrogacy and calls were restricted to two or three in a week from locals,” she said.

But over the last four-five days we have received over 18 calls from in and around Delhi,” she added.

This IVF clinic is not the only one which has reported an increase in people enquiring about surrogacy.

At least four such clinics in the National Capital Region confirmed the rise in curiosity.
“These steps by celebrities help break the taboo. We have received around 20-25 calls over the last few days enquiring about surrogacy,” said Dr Dheerendra Singh of Bourn Hall clinic in Gurgaon.

Doctors say they had witnessed a similar phenomenon earlier when actor Aamir Khan and his wife Kiran Rao had opted for a child through surrogacy.

“But after six months, the interest dwindled. People have short memories and such steps by different celebrities at regular intervals help break the myths,” said Dr Bajaj.
“Ours is a closed society. There are many social factors which contribute to people shying away from surrogacy. They find it difficult to explain to others that the child is their own. There have been couples who express fears that the society might think they got the baby from an orphanage,” says Dr Aanchal Agarwal, an IVF expert at BLK Superspecialty Hospital.

Doctors said media reports about Shah Rukh Khan have had a multiplied effect and couples with a last ditch attempt at getting a baby are now finding it acceptable and approaching IVF clinics.

However, despite the acceptance that has been coming about, myths still persist.
“A few callers asked whether the child born through surrogacy will be a girl. So, though reports about Shah Rukh Khan has given surrogacy an acceptance, it has brought its own sets of other problems,” said Dr Singh.