India’s openly gay prince, Manvendra Singh Gohil, who recently appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s show, intends to adopt a royal heir.
The Times of India reports that Gohil, who is the prince of Rajpipla in the state of Gujarat, does not want his lineage to come to and end with his death. He now plans to adopt a son to groom the child into becoming the heir to his title.
Attending a ceremony to commemorate the anniversary of his grandfather on Wednesday, the prince was asked who would continue the family’s lineage. He responded by saying, “I have carried out all my responsibilities as the prince so far and will continue as long as I can. I will also adopt a child soon so that all traditions continue.”
He added that, historically, adoption to ensure that there is a male heir is not a new phenomenon among Indian royal families, especially when the child is from the extended family. “I will also adopt a child from my extended family only,” he said.
Gohil appeared on Oprah in October 2007, in an episode titled ‘Gay Around the World’, where he talked about his difficulties in coming out and the pressure he was under to ensure that he fathered a heir. He also said that he married a woman in an arranged marriage.
“It was a total disaster. A total failure,” he told Winfrey. “The marriage never got consummated. I realised I had done something very wrong.”
A legal expert told The Times of India that although he knew of no cases of adoption by single men, Indian law does not bar this from taking place. Nevertheless, homosexuality itself is still illegal in the country.