Radha Sharma, TNN | Apr 26, 2012
AHMEDABAD: The artificial stomach Vidya Balan sported in the film ‘Kahaani‘ was the surprise element in the climax. In real life, the fake tummy is commonly used by women opting for surrogacy to have a child but want their families to believe they are the one’s carrying that bundle of joy!
Many women from traditional communities can’t tell their in-laws and extended families that they have employed a surrogate and instead walk around with strap-ons for nine months to simulate a pregnant stomach.
In an extreme case, a gynecologist couple chose to have an incision on the stomach of the wife with sutures so that it looked like a caesarean section. An artificial stomach would not have worked in their case as there were many doctors in the family who are more difficult to deceive.
Surrogacy expert from Anand Dr Naina Patel says an IIT-graduate couple from Chennai opted for an artificial stomach as the woman wanted to avoid the disapproval of her in-laws. “She did not have a uterus and her in-laws would never have accepted that the child was born through another’s woman’s womb,” says Patel.
Hema Inamdar, a soft toy maker, specializes in fake tummies. “A woman called from the UK saying she felt she was actually carrying a baby when she wore the tummy,” says Inamdar. One can get artificial stomachs in sets of three. The first set simulates three, five and seven months pregnancy. The other set simulates five, seven and nine months, with one set costing roughly Rs 1,000.
Fertility expert Dr Falguni Bavishi says NRI women too succumb to familial pressure. “A Gujarati woman in the US took artificial tummies with her after employing a surrogate, so that her in-laws would believe she was pregnant. She told them that she had to deliver the baby where the IVF treatment was done, got the baby from the surrogate and went back, her secret intact,” says Dr Bavishi.
- The Regulation of Surrogacy in India (kractivist.wordpress.com)