Shah Rukh Khan denies knowing gender before birth

NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian film superstar Shah Rukh Khan has denied that he knew the gender of his new baby before the boy’s premature birth, media reports said.

Prenatal gender testing is illegal in India to prevent sex-selective abortions in a culture where sons are preferred.

Media reports said quoted Khan saying that he had not commented on the rumors earlier because of “emotional strife” over the health of the baby, who is now home from hospital.

He said “there was no sex determination for our child” and that the baby was born before the media speculation began, according to his statement. Reports say the boy born via a surrogate is named AbRam Khan.

Khan’s statement did not say how prematurely the child was born but thanked all the doctors and nurses who looked after the baby and “who have made his life possible.”

“Our son is a surrogate baby and the entire process is bound by strict confidentiality. We would appeal to all, to allow us to cherish this private moment as a family,” his statement went on to say.

Khan, 47, and his wife Gauri have another son and a daughter, both in their teens.

In 2011, actor Aamir Khan spoke openly about how he and his wife, filmmaker Kiran Rao, had struggled with fertility issues before they decided to have a baby using a gestational surrogate.

India’s 2011 census showed that the country had 914 girls for every 1,000 boys younger than 6, a skewed ratio mainly attributed to abortions of female fetuses despite the ban on prenatal gender tests.

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