Mindy Kaling Candidly Discusses The Concept Of Spinsterhood With Meghan Markle

The actress has never revealed the identity of her children's father.

Mindy Kaling is a wildly successful actress, producer, writer and mother-of-two, but while she’s often making headlines for her amazing career, she’s made a similar amount of headlines for her decision not raise two children alone — or more specifically, for never disclosing the identity of her children’s father. 

Sitting down with Meghan Markle for the Archetypes podcast, Kaling spoke candidly about the fear of being perceived as a “spinster”, and her Indian family’s perception of her as an unmarried woman with children. 

“There’s a whole Indian angle on it too—to choose to have your own children by yourself,” she said. “I haven’t been to India since I was 14 but you start thinking like what my relatives in India think about this,” Mindy said. “Is this causing tremendous shame upon our family that I made this decision? I can make myself go crazy if I think too much about those things.”

The actress went on to reveal that she gets emotional when wondering why she isn’t yet married or hasn’t found her forever love. She’s also aware of her children growing up without a present father figure. 

 “I have such a great relationship with my dad. We’re so different from each other. But he is just everything to me. And I do know that that would be so valuable for my kids, you know, that they have a dad,” she explained. 

“I do think about it with wistfulness and then also fear like, ‘what will they think when they get older about that?'” 

Below, read on as we unpack what we do know about Kaling’s family life, including the man who plays the biggest role in it. 


Who is the father of Mindy Kaling’s kids? 

On December 15 2017, Kaling welcomed her first child, daughter Katherine (Kit). Fans anxiously awaited the news of who Kaling had welcomed the child with, but it never came. In fact, the name of Katherine’s father was never written on her birth certificate. 

A few years later on September 3 2020, Kaling welcomed her second child, a son named Spencer. She was able to conceal the entire pregnancy as the world was in lockdowns due to the pandemic, so nobody knew she’d given birth again until she revealed she was one month post-partum while on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in October 2020. 

Both times, speculation over the father’s identity was rife, as the actress wasn’t known to be dating anyone at the time. Regardless of the rumours, Kaling has always prided herself on being a single mother, 

Speaking to the New York Times in 2019, Kaling revealed why she had decided to keep mum on the identity of her kids’ father. 

“My feeling is that until I speak to my daughter about [her father], I’m not going to talk to anyone else about it.”


Is B.J. Novak the father of Mindy Kaling’s kids? 

Kaling and Novak have known one another for almost two decades, having first met in 2004 while writing and starring in The Office. They were both 24 at the time, and according to Novak, began flirting and fighting almost immediately. 

“We were never really dating, we were never really not dating,” he told Vulture in 2012. “We didn’t know. No one knew. All you’d know for sure as that you’d always find one of us next to the other, even if we weren’t getting along.”

The the timeline is still unclear, the pair have confirmed that they dated off and on for several years before becoming best friends. 

“Like, real best friends,” Kaling told Vulture. It’s the kind of friendship you have when you are embedded with someone, that you can only get by putting in that insane amount of time with people.”

In 2013, Novak told Entertainment Weekly that their closeness has proved troublesome when pursuing other romantic interests. 

“We are pretty inseparable best friends with a lot of chemistry ourselves,” he told the outlet. “Whenever we date anyone else, I think there’s a period where the person is very skeptical of our friendship.” A few years later, Kaling described their relationship as “romantically charged camaraderie”. 

There’s no denying that Novak has been the most prominent male figure in Kaling’s life, romantic or otherwise, so when news broke of Kaling’s first child, he was the first assumption as to who could be the father. 

Speaking to marie claire US in August 2022, Kaling quashed the rumours that Novak was the father of her children, but did reveal that he still plays an important role in their life. 

“He’s the godparent to both my kids — and they have such a great relationship,” she said. “So far [the rumors haven’t] affected my happiness at all, it hasn’t affected my kids or BJ.” 

Novak spends a lot of time with Kaling’s children, making an effort to create special memories which include dressing up as Santa Claus each Christmas and taking them on memorable outings. 

“My four year old had the best night of her life at our star party + Saturn spotting at @griffithobservatory!” Kaling wrote on Instagram last month. “Thank you @bjnovak for sharing your passion for astronomy.” 


In the same interview with marie claire, Kaling discussed her decision not to show their faces on social media, revealing that she wanted to wait until they were old enough to tell her how they’d like to be involved, or not involved in her public life.

“I’m the only parent my kids have,” she said. “I think I err on the side of super cautious so that there’s less things that they can potentially be mad at me about down the line.”

Regardless of the father’s identity, Kaling told PEOPLE in 2021 that it “takes a village” to raise a family, particularly as a single mother. The actress then expressed her gratefulness to her support system, which includes her father, her nanny and Reese Witherspoon, who is a “great source of parenting advice.”

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