There is no South Carolina statute or case law prohibiting the practice of gestational surrogacy. Surrogacy practice in South Carolina is upheld by published case law from 2003 when a U.S. District Court upheld the validity of a South Carolina gestational carrier agreement (Mid-S. Ins. Co. v. Doe (D.S.C. 2003).
South Carolina surrogacy practice is also supported by the holding in In re: Baby Doe, which used intent-based parenting to establish parentage in a divorce case where the father was not genetically connected to his child. No statute or case law prohibits traditional surrogacy, either, but this surrogacy path is treated like adoption in South Carolina and thus faces strict limitations on compensation (S.C. Code § 63-9-310 (F) (1)).
Can a parentage order be granted for the following?
Traditional surrogacy is not prohibited in South Carolina, but parentage is established through adoption proceedings rather than a court parentage order. Moreover, compensation for traditional surrogacy services is limited to medical and reasonable living expenses. Most attorneys and agencies strongly advise against the practice given the increased emotional and legal risks involved.
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.
In cases of same-sex couples, only the genetic parent can be named on the birth certificate by a parentage order. The non-genetic parent can establish parental rights via a second parent adoption after birth.
If neither Intended Parent has a genetic connection, then it may be necessary to use adoption proceedings to establish parentage if the court does not grant a pre-birth order.
Intended Parent(s) may be listed as Father-Mother, or Father or Mother.
There are no statutes or case law in South Carolina that address the rights of an egg, sperm, or embryo donor over the donated gametes or a resulting child.
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.
Although no statutes directly regulate the matter, surrogacy contracts in South Carolina are recognized and enforced by the state.
Independent counsel is required for all parties involved in a surrogacy agreement.
Courts typically grant pre-birth orders, but results may vary by county and by judge. Pre-birth orders may take up to 6-8 weeks to be issued. It is also necessary to file for a post-birth order to affirm parentage. Pre-birth orders may or may not require hearings, depending on the county where the motion is filed; in these cases, only the attorney is required to attend. Post-birth order hearing requirements may also vary, but at least one of the parties to the contract must attend.
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.
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.
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