Did Nayanthara, Vignesh Shivan violate surrogacy rules? TN govt seeks explanation

They had announced birth of twins on Sunday


South Indian actor Nayanthara and her director husband Vignesh Shivan had, on Sunday, announced the birth of their twins.

"Nayan & Me have become Amma & Appa. We are blessed with twin baby Boys. All Our prayers, our ancestors' blessings combined wit all the good manifestations made, have come 2gethr in the form Of 2 blessed babies for us. Need all ur blessings for our Uyir & Ulagam (sic)," Shivan had tweeted.

After the announcement, questions were being raised if the couple had followed surrogacy rules. Nayanthara and Vignesh Shivan got married four months ago.

Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021 permits only altruistic surrogacy by infertile Indian couples.

According to The Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021“altruistic surrogacy” means the surrogacy in which no charges, expenses, fees, remuneration or monetary incentive of whatever nature, except the medical expenses and such other prescribed expenses incurred on surrogate mother and the insurance coverage for the surrogate mother, are given to the surrogate mother or her dependents or her representative."

Commercial surrogacy is banned under the Act. No person, organisation, surrogacy clinic, laboratory or clinical establishment of any kind shall undertake commercial surrogacy, it reads.

According to the Act, “Any intending couple or intending woman or any person who seeks the aid of any surrogacy clinic, laboratory or of a registered medical practitioner, gynaecologist, paediatrician, embryologist or any other person for not following the altruistic surrogacy or for conducting surrogacy procedures for commercial purposes shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years and with fine which may extend to five lakh rupees for the first offence and for any subsequent offence with imprisonment which may extend to ten years and with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees.”

According to the Act, no surrogacy or surrogacy procedures shall be conducted, undertaken, performed or availed of, except for the following purposes, namely:—
(a) when an intending couple has a medical indication necessitating gestational surrogacy:

(b) when it is only for altruistic surrogacy purposes;

(c) when it is not for commercial purposes or for commercialisation of surrogacy or surrogacy procedures;

(e) any other condition or disease as may be specified by regulations made by the Board (
National Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy Board or a State Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy Board).

According to media reports, when asked about the surrogate babies of Nayanthara and Vignesh Sivan, Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian said the state government would seek an explanation from them.

“The legalities surrounding surrogacy is a topic of discussion. There is already an issue over the egg cells. As per the rules, an adult married woman aged between 21 and 35 years can donate her egg with the permission of her parents or husband. We will ask the director of medical services to inquire whether they (the couple) followed due process,” the minister was quoted as saying.