North Carolina Surrogacy Laws


Gestational surrogacy is permitted in North Carolina because there are no statutes or case law that restrict it. 

Traditional surrogacy, however, is not addressed, which makes the enforce-ability of legal contracts for this type of surrogacy unclear.

Types of Surrogacy Available in North Carolina

Can a parentage order be obtained for the following?

No statutes or published case law address traditional surrogacy. However, many attorneys and agencies advise against it due to the increased legal risks involved because a surrogate legally can’t be forced to give up her parental rights.

Gestational surrogacy


Commercial surrogacy


Traditional surrogacy


Altruistic surrogacy



Who can be declared as the parent(s) of a child from a surrogate via a court parentage order?

💚 – Both Intended Parent(s) can be named on the parentage order.

💛 – Only a genetic Intended Parent can be named on the parentage order. A non-genetic Intended Parent will need to establish parentage via a second or stepparent adoption following birth.

Whether a court will grant a parentage order to Intended Parent(s) depends on the court in which the motion is filed. Although there is no guarantee of outcome, Intended Parent(s) with a genetic connection to a child are regularly granted parentage orders. 

Non-genetic Intended Parents may need to establish parentage via a stepparent adoption. According to North Carolina statute N.C.G.S.A. § 48-4-101, married couples can complete a stepparent adoption if the child has primarily resided with them for six months before filing. Couples must be married for at least two years to avoid the home study requirement.

How are Intended Parent(s) Listed on the Birth Certificate?

Intended Parent(s) may be listed as Father-Mother or Parent-Parent or Mother or Father.

Rights of Egg or Sperm Donor(s)

According to N.C.G.S. 49A-1, donors of sperm for assisted reproduction procedures have no parental rights over the donated gametes or a resulting child. The law states that “Any child or children born as the result of heterologous artificial insemination shall be considered at law in all respects the same as a naturally conceived legitimate child of the husband and wife requesting and consenting in writing to the use of such technique.” 

There is no similar law for egg or embryo donors, and no legal requirement for the law to be read in a gender-neutral manner.

Surrogacy Steps in North Carolina

Surrogacy Process in North Carolina

Select your agency if applicable

Match with a gestational carrier

Complete medical and psychological evaluations

Select attorneys for the intended parents and gestational carrier and complete the gestational carrier agreement

Begin IVF cycle with surrogate

Pre-birth order

North Carolina allows pre-birth orders to be filed. Proceedings begin after the first trimester.

Delivery and birth certificate finalization

If filing for a post-birth order, begin process after delivery.

Birth Certificate Timeline

Birth certificate

1-4 weeks, but can be sooner.

Legal and medical steps involved in the surrogacy process may differ from case to case. Please speak with your agency and attorneys about how the process might look for you.

Court Processes

Surrogacy Contracts

Although there’s no statute or case law addressing surrogacy contracts, gestational surrogacy contracts in North Carolina have been recognized and enforced by the state. 

Independent Counsel

Independent counsel is recommended, but not required, for all parties involved in a surrogacy agreement.

Requirements for Surrogates and Intended Parent(s)

North Carolina has no statutory requirements that must be met for surrogates to participate in a surrogacy agreement. However, agencies and fertility clinics have their own requirements based on the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys

Birth Orders

Do courts issue pre-birth orders?


Do courts issue post-birth orders?


Are hearings required to obtain either pre- or post-birth orders?


If hearing is required, do all parties need to attend?


Because there are no statutes or case law, results may vary depending on the court. The ability to obtain a parentage order may depend on marital status and genetic connection to the child. 

Bases of Venue

What are the bases of venue?

VARIES according to attorney preference

Do rulings vary by venue?


Can you file a motion to waive venue?

YES, for children to be born in North Carolina

International Issues

International Intended Parent(s) will have additional legal steps to complete before their return home regarding their country’s immigration and citizen laws that impact the child. It’s imperative the international Intended Parent(s) speak with an experienced attorney in their home country about their situation. The law of more than one country will need to be considered if the Intended Parent(s) are citizens or residents of more than one country.  

Residency Requirements

Does the state impose residency requirements on either the surrogate or Intended Parent(s):


Birth Certificates

Can an international same-sex male couple receive an initial birth certificate naming the biological father and Gestational Carrier?


Can an international same-sex male couple obtain an initial birth certificate naming only the biological father?


Can they receive a subsequent birth certificate naming only the Intended Parent(s) with no mention of the Gestational Carrier?


Passport Timeline

6-8 weeks after submitting birth certificate.

Passports can be expedited for a 2-3 week delivery with an extra fee. Intended Parent(s) can also visit a regional passport agency to receive one within 1-2 business days.

Passports are regulated at the federal level in the United States. To learn more about the process of receiving a US passport, visit Travel.State.gov.

Consulting Attorneys

E Parker Herring
434 Fayetteville Street, Ste 2135
Raleigh, NC 27601
(919) 821-1860

Legal Disclaimer

The content contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only. Content contained herein may or may not reflect the most current legal information on the subject; accordingly, this website is not promised to be correct or complete at any given time. Outcomes referenced should not be interpreted as an indication of future outcomes. Love & Kindness Surrogacy explicitly disclaims all liability for actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this website.

This website does not constitute a replacement for legal advice or counsel. Always consult an attorney before beginning the surrogacy process.

Last updated October 2019