At the Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson, we believe in every hopeful parent’s right to bring a child into their family in the way that works best for them. That’s why we’re proud to say that we’ve helped complete many surrogacies for LGBTQ parents through our program — and we’re ready and willing to help you, too.
If you’re considering surrogacy in South Carolina, our team is here to help you get started. We are always available to answer your questions about the surrogacy process in South Carolina when you give us a call at 864-573-5533 or contact us online. Whatever your personal surrogacy goals are, we are happy to make them a reality.
In the meantime, however, find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about surrogacy for LGBTQ couples and singles below.
Is LGBTQ Surrogacy in South Carolina Possible?
Over the last few decades, LGBTQ rights in the United State have advanced significantly. Today, we’re happy to say that LGBTQ surrogacy in South Carolina is not only possible and legal — but also a popular way for LGBTQ individuals to add to their families.
Before we get any further into the details of a same-sex surrogacy in South Carolina, it’s important that all intended parents understand how surrogacy works in this state. Like many states in the South, South Carolina has no state surrogacy laws. Instead, surrogacy is regulated based on case law, such as the case of Mid-South Ins. CO. vs. Doe, which upholds the validity of surrogacy contracts in this state.
It’s common for intended parents in South Carolina to worry when they discover there are no laws regarding this family-building process. But this doesn’t mean surrogacy is unsafe in this state. On the contrary, the lack of restrictive legislation grants legal professionals, judges and courts flexibility in working together to complete surrogacies for all intended parents, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
As mentioned above, our team has helped many LGBTQ intended parents add to their family through same-sex surrogacy in South Carolina, and we are ready to do the same for you whenever you are ready.
How Does Surrogacy Work for LBGTQ Couples or Singles in S.C.?
In many ways, surrogacy for gay couples and other members of the LGBTQ community is very similar to surrogacy for heterosexual couples in South Carolina. You will go through many of the same steps to add a child to your family, although certain legal and medical processes may be slightly different.
If you’re thinking about LGBTQ surrogacy in South Carolina, here’s what you can expect when you work with our surrogacy program:
Step 1: Complete Initial Screening.
When you first apply to our surrogacy program in South Carolina, you will need to fill out application paperwork and complete some initial screening. This includes authorizations for criminal background checks on you and your spouse (if applicable). Our team will also talk in depth with you about your preferences and needs to create a personalized surrogacy plan moving forward.
Step 2: Find a Gestational Carrier.
Next, our team will work with you to find the perfect surrogate for your journey. Don’t worry — there are many gestational carriers who are willing and extremely excited to carry for LGBTQ families like yours. They know that an LGBTQ surrogacy may be the only way you can complete your family and possibly be genetically related to your child(ren), and some women even enter into surrogacy wanting to specifically carry for LGBTQ intended parents.
The matching process at our firm is a mutual one, which means you and a surrogate will have the chance to get to know and be comfortable with each other before moving forward. You will be able to choose certain characteristics of your surrogate — such as her age, her location, how many children she has, and more — just as a surrogate can choose what kind of parents she carries for.
Our team will mediate a match between all of you, so you can ask any remaining questions you may have.
Step 3: Complete Psychological Screening.
If everyone is comfortable with the match, your surrogate will undergo additional medical screening at your fertility clinic of choice. Additionally, you and your spouse will undergo your own psychological counseling — separately, together and again with your surrogate (and her spouse). A mental health professional will discuss your expectations for the surrogacy process, as well as any “what-ifs” and complications that could arise. This screening is crucial to ensure all parties are 100 percent ready for the potential challenges and risks of a same-sex surrogacy in South Carolina.
Step 4: Complete a Legal Surrogacy Contract.
Once screening is completed, attorney Jim Thompson will represent your interests in drafting your legal surrogacy contract. Your surrogate will be represented by separate legal counsel. This contract will cover issues such as compensation, risks and liabilities, and sensitive topics such as selective reduction and termination. In essence, your contract will serve as a roadmap for the surrogacy journey ahead of you.
Step 5: Complete the Medical Process of Surrogacy and Establish Parental Rights.
Finally, you will be ready to move forward with the medical process of your LGBTQ surrogacy in South Carolina. How this proceeds will depend on whether you have already created embryos or not. If necessary, our team will assist with the scheduling of the cycle and any travel arrangements for your gestational carrier. You’ll want to speak with your reproductive endocrinologist for a clear idea of what to expect in your particular medical process.
Once a pregnancy is confirmed, you will be able to stay in touch with your surrogate throughout her pregnancy. You can even be present at doctor’s appointments! During her second trimester, our legal team will take the necessary steps to protect your parental rights, whatever that may involve. Attorney Jim Thompson will keep you in the loop about this process and what is needed from you. Certain post-birth legal steps may also be required, which Jim Thompson will discuss with you further based upon your individual situation.
You and your surrogate will create a birth plan for her delivery, which you will be present at. After your baby is cleared for discharge, you will be able to leave the hospital with your brand-new family member!
Of course, every LGBTQ surrogacy will be different, so contact our professionals today for more information on what your journey may be like.
Why Should You Work with Our Program for Your LGBTQ Surrogacy?
If you’re thinking about surrogacy as a gay couple or individual, choosing the right professional for this journey is crucially important. You want to work with a professional who will protect your rights and interests every step of the way, regardless of your sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson is here to do just that. We are proud to be one of the leading LGBTQ-friendly surrogacy programs in South Carolina, and we will make sure you feel protected and comfortable from start to finish.
We are proud to offer a full-service surrogacy program to our intended parents and gestational carriers, but we know that every person’s needs and goals are different. That’s why we will always tailor our surrogacy services to your preferences. Solely looking for legal services? Need a professional to guide you through every step along the way? We can do that — and anything in between.
For more information about LGBTQ surrogacy with our South Carolina program, please call us at 864-573-5533 or contact us online today.