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Surrogacy in Charleston, SC
With surrogacy, a woman, known as a surrogate, carries a child for an individual or a couple. Surrogacy may be an option for women who have had recurrent miscarriages, difficulty conceiving, or anomalies of the uterus or no uterus. It can also be used for gay couples who would like the child to have a biological connection to one partner. Donor sperm may also be used.
There are two types of surrogacy: traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy. Traditional surrogacy is a process in which the surrogate is inseminated with sperm, which then fertilizes her own egg. As a result, the child will be related to the surrogate. Most couples use a gestational surrogate. In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate is implanted with an embryo, which can be created with their sperm and egg and/or donor sperm and donor egg. Because her own eggs are not used, the surrogate will not be biologically related to the child.
Surrogacy in South Carolina
Like many states, South Carolina has no provisions in its law that deals specifically with the surrogacy process. However, limited case law shows that surrogacy agreements may be acceptable.
A 2003 Federal District Court case did not deal specifically with issue of surrogacy agreements. Rather, it sought to answer the question of whether the husband of a surrogate could claim the resulting child as his natural child and cover him under his insurance policy. Because of a surrogacy agreement in place, the court ruled that the surrogate’s husband could not be considered the natural father.
The issue of surrogacy for gay or lesbian individuals and couples has not been brought up in South Carolina court, but there are no prohibitions for them in jointly adopting a child, or adopting the child of a same-sex partner.
Charleston Surrogacy Agencies
Surrogacy agencies match surrogates with potential parents. Many surrogacy agencies differ slightly on specific requirements, but most require vigorous psychological and physical testing before a woman can act as a surrogate.
The following surrogacy agencies work with intended parents in the Charleston area:
- Center for Surrogate Parenting, Inc.
- The Surrogacy Source
The Southeastern Fertility Center in the Charleston area also works with surrogates.
Surrogacy is considered a very legally-complex process, so it is important you talk with an attorney beforehand, to make sure your rights are preserved.