“Outsourcing” Her Pregnancy: How Priyanka Chopra Overcame Bullying After Having Her Daughter With the Help of a Surrogate
Priyanka Chopra often describes herself as a self-made woman. Ever since she was a child, she has always had to prove herself to someone. For a long time, she didn’t start a family, putting her career first. Journalists, as well as the public, have been forcing her for years to justify this choice. However, once the actress got married and became a mother, the haters once again found cause for criticism. But this time, Priyanka responded sharply as the gossip touched on the most precious thing in her life.
A long road to family life
Priyanka gets described as an incredibly determined person with a character of steel. And that, according to the star, is what her parents made her into. They were both military doctors. From the age of 7, the future actress lived in India, in a boarding school for girls, and at 12, she was sent to live with relatives in America for further training. So, from a young age, Chopra was managing her own life and making decisions about her future. And she chose the path of the film industry.
Hollywood started talking about her only in 2015, after the TV series Quantico, in which Priyanka had the lead role. By that time, she was far from a novice in her field. The new-to-the-western-world star had over 50 Bollywood films under her belt. She was used to the fast pace of the industry and the multitasking it required, simultaneously working on several projects a year.
Her success in films led to unprecedented fame. The Indian actress received a ton of attention. The press pecked at her for her single lifestyle. No interview went without questions about when will she finally change her marital status. Chopra only made little excuses, saying that the time hadn’t come yet, adding, “I will be the best wife ever.”
Around the time she was 35, Priyanka finally managed to slow down and start focusing on her personal life. In 2018, she met Nick Jonas, with whom the relationship developed at lightning speed. After just two months, the singer proposed to her and another month later, the couple was officially engaged. It seemed that the haters would finally leave the actress alone. But there was a tougher challenge ahead of her.
Criticism for using a surrogate
In January last year, the actress decided to share the happy news that she and Nick had become parents. However, instead of support, the couple received hundreds of angry comments under the post. All because they had used the help of a surrogate mother. Priyanka was accused of “outsourcing” her pregnancy, wanting to just get a ready-made baby.
Chopra, who admits that she has pretty thick skin when it comes to criticism, couldn’t take the blow this time. After all, the malice wasn’t directed at her and her lifestyle but at the most precious thing in her life — her baby.
Evil tongues didn’t care about the real reason for this decision. While for Chopra, it may well have been the only option. She had been diagnosed with health problems. The surrogate mother was the lifeline that the couple clung to.
Priyanka didn’t talk about it for a long time, but in January 2023, she broke the silence: “You don’t know me. You don’t know what I’ve been through. And just because I don’t want to make my medical history or my daughter’s public doesn’t give you the right to make up whatever the reasons were.”
The fight for her daughter’s life
Malti was born a whole trimester early. Priyanka and Nick were in the operating room at the time of her birth. They saw the first minutes of their daughter’s life, and they watched as the emergency medical staff in the intensive care unit rescued the baby. For the next three months, the new parents literally lived in the hospital, fighting for their baby’s life.
“I know what it felt like to hold her little hands when they were trying to find her veins,” says Chopra. The actress talks about what she and her husband went through with great difficulty. Luckily, the girl made it, and the family was finally able to go home.
Finding the center of the universe
The birth of Malti forced Priyanka to change her priorities. She postponed all her projects and concentrated on her most coveted and long-awaited role — that of a mother: “It’s been 20 years of hustling and working at breakneck speed. I’ve always been like, ‘What’s the next thing?’ But now I feel I have a centre, a sense of calm because every decision ends up being about her.”
The parents have, so far, managed to shield the girl from prying eyes. They have successfully avoided the paparazzi, and the pictures they post online don’t show Malti’s face. This baby has come at a great cost to them, and now they’re trying to protect her from any and all danger. In their living room, the couple has set up a small shrine with an image of Shiva in the center. It was the first place in the house that their daughter saw. Since then, prayers at this altar have become Priyanka’s daily ritual.
When the haters were talking about why the couple turned to a surrogate, one of the reasons they came up with was the couple’s busy schedule. In fact, Nick and Priyanka have managed to organize their lives in such a way that one of them is always with their daughter. In addition, both Chopra’s and Jonas’ parents spend a lot of time with their granddaughter; hence, says the actress, the baby is always surrounded by a whole crowd of loving adults.
The arrival of her baby has given Priyanka another meaning in life. Together with Mindy Kaling, they’re working on projects that aim to break down racial and ethnic barriers in entertainment: “Hopefully, we’ll see more Indian or South Asian actors in Hollywood. I want to commemorate the success and achievements of South Asians outside of India, in the international sphere, because we deserve that position.”
But the main purpose of all this is different. Chopra dreams that when her daughter grows up, she can look back and be proud of what her mother has accomplished: “I want to do right by her.”
We wish the new parents and the baby girl health and happiness. What would you wish them?