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Surrogacy in North Carolina

Many of those Charlotte couples that are currently struggling with reproductive issues may view having a child via a surrogate as their only option at becoming biological parents. Same-sex couples looking to start families may also view surrogacy as a viable option. Yet the legal view of surrogacy contracts is still hazy at best. Only a handful of states currently have laws that recognize the legitimacy of surrogate contracts. North Carolina currently isn’t one of them. This may the reason why gestational surrogacy is still relatively rare here. Data derived from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention by the Council for Responsible Genetics shows that in 2007, only two such births occurred in the state.

There is currently no mention made of surrogacy anywhere in North Carolina’s general statutes, and there are no specific laws governing the practice. Only North Carolina GS § 49A-1 makes mention of artificial insemination, and its details could be viewed as leaving the door open for a potential child custody dispute. It states that children born through this method are legally considered to be the children of the mother and father requesting and consenting in writing to the use of the technique.

While this decree may be open to interpretation, the inference is that if a surrogate carries and delivers a couple’s child, she is still considered the child’s biological mother. The donating couple may then be required to adopt the child, even in those instances where a surrogate contract may be in place. It’s recommended that to avoid a potential child custody battle, couples delivering through surrogacy attempt to obtain a court order recognizing the child’s legitimacy before he or she is even born.