'We never felt defensive about having a surrogate'

Actor Aamir Khan and his filmmaker wife Kiran Rao were one of the first celebrity couples to publicly declare that their child Azad was born through a surrogate. Rao, 39, tells India Today about her experience.

Q. Why did you and Aamir opt for surrogacy?

A. It was the last resort for us as it wasn't possible for me to have a child the natural way.

Q. Who suggested it?

A. It was suggested as an option to us by Dr Firuza Parikh, our doctor and dear friend. Both she and her husband Dr Rajesh Parikh helped us understand the process and counselled us through our doubts.

Q. What was the reaction of the family and friends to your decision?

A. They were entirely supportive.

Q. How did you go about selecting the surrogate mother?

A. We left it all to Firuza.

Q. Was there any medical care the surrogate mother needed?

A. Absolutely, and it was important for all her medical needs to be looked after, which Firuza entirely handled and oversaw.

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Q. Do you think Indian society still looks at surrogacy with suspicion?

A. I hadn't heard of any negative experiences before deciding to embark on it, and so far people have been open and supportive.

Q. Even those who opt for it are reluctant to talk about it. Why?

A. It is a personal affair, and the reasons why one can't have children naturally or choose one method over the other are not things people normally want to talk about.

Q. Why did you and Aamir feel the need to declare it?

A. We knew that being in the public eye we would be asked about it anyway, and we have never felt defensive about our decision, so we opted to be open about it. Of course if our experience is useful for people to know, then all the better.

Reproduced From India Today. © 2013. LMIL. All rights reserved.