North Carolina is a great place to start a family, both with more traditional methods and via assisted reproduction. This means that it’s a surrogacy-friendly state that makes it easy for intended parents to work with surrogates and agencies to build the family of their dreams.
In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about surrogacy in North Carolina, including the laws, contracts, legal paperwork, costs, and the overall process.
Is Surrogacy Legal In North Carolina?
In the United States, the legality of gestational or traditional surrogacy is left up to individual states to decide. In other words, each state has different laws.
North Carolina is similar to many Southern states in that it does not have any statutes or case law that prohibit gestational surrogacy. However, even if it doesn’t have any laws on the books, it’s still considered to be a surrogacy-friendly state with a well-defined surrogacy process that protects both surrogates and intended parents.
On the other hand, the legality of traditional surrogacy in North Carolina is unclear. If the surrogate isn’t married, then it might be possible for the intended father and not possible for the intended mother to be listed on the birth certificate. As a result of this ambiguity, gestational surrogacy has become the preferred method in North Carolina.
Additionally, North Carolina has some excellent fertility clinics and in vitro fertilization (IVF) centers, including:
- Atlantic Reproductive Medicine Specialists in Raleigh.
- University of North Carolina (UNC) Fertility in Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill.
- Duke Fertility Center at Duke University in Durham.
- Reproductive Endocrinology Associates of Charlotte (REACH) in Charlotte.
- Carolinas Fertility Institute in Charlotte.
How Do Surrogacy Contracts Work In North Carolina?
In North Carolina, you must have a valid and enforceable surrogacy contract (also known as a surrogacy agreement) before proceeding with any part of the surrogacy process. Plus, the intended parents and surrogates must be represented by separate and independent legal counsel to avoid any potential conflicts of interest.
Because there are no laws on surrogacy in North Carolina, a surrogacy attorney is the only professional who can ensure you are proceeding in a safe and legal manner.This is a critical part in the process!
Finally, the contract must cover all of the important issues in the surrogacy, including:
- Surrogate compensation.
- All risks and liabilities, including physical and emotional issues that may arise.
- Sensitive issues like selective reduction and/or termination.
- Responsibilities and expectations for each party before, during, and after the surrogacy.
- All relevant court paperwork and pre-birth parentage orders.
What Are Pre-Birth Parentage Orders In North Carolina?
The surrogacy contract only sets out the general conditions that must be met – it is not the final piece of official paperwork that actually grants parental rights to the intended parents. Instead, that step must be handled in the state courts with what are known as pre-birth parentage orders (or pre-birth orders).
A pre-birth order is a legal agreement before the child is born that establishes the intended parents as the legal parents of the child. In North Carolina, surrogacy attorneys must file what’s called a complaint for declaratory judgement to obtain a pre-birth order for intended parents. Don’t let the word “complaint” throw you – it’s just the legal terminology! In a surrogacy-friendly state like North Carolina, this is a routine part of the surrogacy process.
Once the surrogate is pregnant past her first trimester, the surrogacy attorney will file for the pre-birth order, which intended parents can take to the hospital to ensure their names are placed on their child’s birth certificate. This is because once this order is signed, the hospital where the child is born is legally required to put the names of the intended parents on the birth certificate.
How Much Does Surrogacy Cost In North Carolina?
If you’re an intended parent, you’re probably wondering how much surrogacy costs in North Carolina. The answer is that it depends on a number of factors, but it usually costs anywhere from $80,000 to $130,000.
This includes all kinds of expenses like:
- Surrogate compensation (base salary, allowances, lost wages).
- Agency fees (finding you a surrogate, handling logistics, screening costs).
- Legal fees and costs (hiring reproductive lawyers, drafting a contract, court paperwork).
- Medical costs (fertility treatments, IVF cycles, C-section, medications, OB-GYN checkups).
You can see that there are a lot of different costs that can add up. For instance, some intended parents have to spend more in the early stages for fertility treatments and IVF.
If you want to learn more, make sure you check out our blog post How Much Does Surrogacy Cost For Intended Parents?
How Much Do Surrogates Get Paid In North Carolina?
This also depends, but in general the base salary for a surrogate in North Carolina is anywhere from $30,000 to $45,000. It’s not quite as competitive as other surrogacy-friendly states like Oregon or California, where the demand for surrogates is extremely high, but it’s still a significant amount.
This base amount can increase under certain criteria, like if the surrogate is experienced or she gets pregnant with twins or triplets. Plus, they’ll also be compensated for various expenses that they might incur during the surrogacy process, including:
- Travel to and from appointments.
- Maternity clothes.
- Housekeeping and child care.
- Lost wages (if the surrogate is a working mother).
- Medical and/or life insurance.
- Attorney fees for their independent representation.
- Emotional and psychological counseling.
If you’d like to learn more, make sure you check out our blog post How Much Do Surrogates Get Paid?
What Is The Surrogacy Process In North Carolina?
Let’s break down the basic surrogacy process in North Carolina for both surrogates and intended parents:
- Find the right surrogacy agency and apply as either a surrogate or intended parent.
- Surrogates will have to meet all the psychological and health requirements.
- The agency will screen all surrogates and match them with the right intended parents.
- The legal teams for both the surrogates and intended parents will draft the surrogacy agreement (this is coordinated by the surrogacy agency).
- IVF will be performed to create a viable embryo for implantation in the surrogate.
- Confirm that the surrogate is pregnant.
- Keep track of the pregnancy and the surrogate’s progress.
- Establish legal parentage via a complaint for declaratory judgement and pre-birth order.
- The baby is born!
If you want to learn more, make sure you check out our blog post How Does The Surrogacy Process Work?
Can I Use Surrogacy By Faith If I Live In North Carolina?
Yes, absolutely! Even though we’re based in Southern California, Surrogacy By Faith will help you on your surrogacy journey anywhere in the US.
If you want to have a positive and meaningful surrogacy experience, then you should take the time to choose the right agency for you. We use our faith and values to guide us in our mission to help intended parents build the families of their dreams and aspiring surrogates fulfill their ambitions.
We don’t just see this as a business or a transaction – we believe we’re doing the Lord’s work by making your dreams come true. We want to share the gift of life and forge relationships that extend beyond just the surrogacy – these are deeper connections that we work hard to foster and nurture.