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North Carolina Surrogacy Law Overview

The Center for Surrogate Parenting walks you through North Carolina surrogacy law

Surrogacy is a beautiful family-building method. However, it can be complex, especially when it comes to the laws surrounding it. Thankfully, our experienced surrogacy agency is well-versed in the surrogacy laws of each state, including North Carolina surrogacy law. In fact, the Center for Surrogate Parenting (CSP) has completed dozens of finalizations of parental rights in this state.

As the oldest surrogacy agency in the world, we have helped U.S. and international parents to welcome healthy babies with help from U.S. surrogates. We are proud to say that we have never experienced issues with intended parents being able to bring their babies home.

To help you learn more about North Carolina surrogacy law and how to create a surrogacy contract, we’ve included some basic information below. You can also contact us for more information.

    • Is a surrogacy contract valid and enforceable?

      There are no statutes or published case law specifically permitting or prohibiting surrogacy. However, it may be possible to obtain a pre-birth order in certain counties, and in certain scenarios.

    • Does the state have surrogacy laws and/or case law?


    • Are the courts typically favorable or unfavorable towards surrogacy arrangements?

      North Carolina courts tend to be favorable towards surrogacy arrangements in most situations.

    • Is commercial surrogacy legal?

      Commercial surrogacy is legal in North Carolina and the intended parents are permitted to compensate the surrogate for her time and expenses. Such compensation is typically arranged for in a surrogacy contract.

    • Is traditional surrogacy permitted?

      Since there are no laws in North Carolina that expressly prohibit traditional surrogacy, it is technically legal. However, when it comes to establishing parentage, the courts in North Carolina tend to treat traditional surrogacy arrangements in varying ways. Where some courts may name only the genetic intended father on the birth certificate, other courts may also name the surrogate. Thus, depending on the court, some instances may require a post-birth parentage order or adoption to secure the second intended parent’s parental rights.

    • Is gestational surrogacy allowed?

      Yes, despite the lack of statutory law or published case law, surrogacy is a permissible practice in the state.

    • What are the requirements for an enforceable surrogacy contract?

      Since North Carolina does not have a statutory rule on this, there is not a specific set of guidelines for when a North Carolina judge may uphold the validity of a surrogacy arrangement. Parties should articulate their intentions, desires, roles and responsibilities as clearly and specifically as possible to provide proper framework for dispute resolution should an issue arise.

      Generally, the intended parents and surrogate should have independent counsel, the surrogate should meet specific requirements and the agreement should include provisions that discuss the legal, financial and contractual rights, expectations, penalties and obligations of the surrogacy agreement.

    • Are pre-birth and post-birth orders permitted?

      Pre-birth parentage orders are permitted in North Carolina and are typically available to married or unmarried intended parents when at least one of them is genetically related to the child. It is available to single intended parents who used their own sperm or eggs. However, results vary rather significantly by county in North Carolina, and in some cases a parentage order petition may nonetheless be denied.

    • Can both intended parents be declared the legal parents?

      Yes, if the intended parents are a married or unmarried couple and both are genetically related to the child, or if the single intended parent is genetically related to the child.

      Most likely yes (but not certain), if the intended parents are a married or unmarried heterosexual or same-sex couple and only one of them is genetically related to the child. In some North Carolina counties, the courts may only grant post-birth orders for the non-genetic parent. In other counties, the courts may require a post-birth adoption. In some counties, the courts may simply issue the parentage order with both parents’ names.

      It varies (but likely no) if neither intended parent is genetically related to the child.

    • Will the state honor a pre-birth order issued by another state?


    • What do intended parents need to know about getting the baby’s birth certificate?

      The parents will receive the birth certificate in 1-4 weeks. Same-sex parents will be named as Parent and Parent.

      International gay couples can obtain an initial birth certificate that names the biological father and gestational carrier. They can obtain a birth certificate that names the biological father only. They cannot subsequently obtain a birth certificate that names both fathers only, with no mention of the surrogate, because only the biological father may be named.

    • Are post-birth adoptions permitted?

      Intended parents who are unable to obtain a parentage order will be required to complete a post-birth adoption in order to obtain and secure their legal parental rights. When a post-birth adoption will be necessary will vary based on the judge and county.

      Typically, if no intended parent is genetically related to the child, then a post-birth adoption will likely be required in order to obtain and secure the intended parents’ legal parental rights.

    • Are second-parent adoptions permitted?


    • Are stepparent adoptions permitted?

      Stepparent adoptions are permitted and are available to married heterosexual and same-sex couples.

VorzimerMasserman Disclaimer: This is a summary for informational use only and should not be relied upon for legal advice. Please note that the state laws regarding surrogacy frequently change and vary from county to county. The attorneys of VorzimerMasserman are only licensed in California. VorzimerMasserman shall not be responsible for any liability associated with this list.