In recent years, an increasing number of LGBT couples and individuals have turned to surrogacy to add to their families. Generally, the same-sex surrogacy process is no different than the surrogacy process for any other intended parent — especially when it comes to the need for experienced legal counsel.
However, there are a few important factors to consider when pursuing gay surrogacy in North Carolina. Herring & Mills, PLLC has assisted many same-sex couples and LGBT individuals through the legal process of assisted reproduction. Here, find answers to some common questions about surrogacy for gay couples in N.C., and feel free to contact us at any time to discuss your family’s specific needs.
1. How does surrogacy work for gay couples in North Carolina?
There are no specific laws addressing same-sex surrogacy in North Carolina, and the process is largely the same for LGBT parents as it is for any other intended parent; it involves finding a surrogate, signing a legal contract, completing the medical surrogacy process and establishing parentage of your child.
However, every situation is different, and the surrogacy process can be complex. The attorneys of Herring & Mills can help you understand how your surrogacy process will look based on your individual needs and circumstances. To learn more about surrogacy for gay couples in North Carolina, read about the process here.
2. Can we pursue gay couple surrogacy if we are not married?
Herring & Mills strongly recommends that same-sex couples get married before pursuing LGBT surrogacy in North Carolina. The surrogacy process for unmarried couples is more complicated, and an adoption would likely be required to establish the intended parents’ parental rights after the child’s birth.
3. Who is genetically related to the child in LGBT surrogacy?
While opposite-sex intended parents are often able to use both parents’ genetic material to create an embryo, same-sex couples must determine which partner’s sperm or egg will be used in the surrogacy process.
Same-sex intended parents may select an egg or sperm donor through their fertility clinic or an agency, or they may choose to work with an identified donor that they personally know. For example, a same-sex male couple may choose to use one partner’s sperm with donated eggs from a close relative of the other partner (such as a sister). This would give both fathers a biological link to their child.
In every LGBT surrogacy case, it is vital to have a well-written donor contract in place to protect the parental rights of the genetically unrelated parent. Herring & Mills can provide the advice, guidance and legal representation you need when drafting and negotiating your donor agreement in North Carolina.
4. How can we find a surrogate?
Before beginning the legal surrogacy process, intended parents should locate a surrogate who has been screened and approved for surrogacy.
Intended parents have a number of options when looking for a prospective surrogate, and many women are specifically interested in becoming a surrogate for gay couples. The following fertility clinics may be able to assist you with the surrogate screening and matching process in North Carolina:
- Atlantic Reproduction
- Carolina Conceptions
- Duke Fertility Center
- North Carolina Center for Reproductive Medicine
- UNC Fertility
Keep in mind that each clinic may vary in its gestational carrier requirements, screening and matching process, and more. It is important to research all of your options and select an LGBT-friendly surrogacy professional to help you meet your surrogacy goals.
5. Why do we need an attorney to complete our same-sex surrogacy?
An assisted reproduction attorney is required in every surrogacy case to provide the necessary legal services to ensure the safety and protection of the intended parents and their future child. Through careful preparation of a comprehensive surrogacy contract and a pre-birth order of parentage, you can feel confident that every step of the surrogacy process is completed legally and that your family is protected throughout the process.
Additionally, it is important that your surrogate work with her own independent attorney to review the surrogacy agreement. Herring & Mills can provide a list of recommended attorneys in North Carolina to represent the surrogate.
Herring & Mills can provide all of the legal surrogacy services and guidance you need throughout your LGBT surrogacy To begin the legal surrogacy process with our firm, call the office at 919-821-1860, complete our online form, or email Parker Herring at firstname.lastname@example.org.