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Surrogacy in North Carolina for surrogates and intended parents

For surrogates and intended parents who are interested in surrogacy, the surrogacy process can feel a little overwhelming at first. Where do you start? Who should you talk to? Circle Surrogacy is here to help you navigate surrogacy in North Carolina, from the surrogacy process, to how to become a surrogate, how to find a surrogate and much more.

 Table of Contents

Table of Contents

 An overview of surrogacy in North Carolina

An overview of surrogacy in North Carolina

Gestational surrogacy helps those who are unable to have children become parents. It’s a process that requires medical and legal expertise, as well as a strong support process throughout the journey.

Through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), embryos are created in a lab at a fertility clinic. Sometimes the intended parents use their own genetic material. Sometimes, an egg donor or sperm donor is required. At the fertility clinic, 1-2 embryos are implanted into a gestational carrier, who carries the baby(ies) to term.

Gestational carriers have no genetic relationship to the children they deliver.

North Carolina is a surrogacy-friendly state for both gestational carriers and intended parents. Whether you in live in a large city, such as Charlotte, Raleigh, or Durham – or small town in between – here's everything you need to know about gestational surrogacy.

 Why North Carolina is a great state for surrogacy

Why North Carolina is a great state for surrogacy

North Carolina has long been known as a great location to pursue surrogacy. Its favorable surrogacy laws have allowed Circle Surrogacy to successfully match surrogates with intended parents for over two decades.

Surrogates in North Carolina have access to quality care at some of the world’s best medical centers. In addition to some of the top hospitals, North Carolina is also home to respected IVF clinics. Circle Surrogacy works frequently with REACH: Reproductive Endocrinology Associates of Charlotte, Duke Fertility in Durham and Atlantic Reproductive Medicine Specialists in Raleigh.

North Carolina is a great place to live if you're considering parenthood through surrogacy and/or egg donation. Circle has worked with parents from North Carolina for 25 years!

Here are a few reasons why NC is a great state for surrogacy:

• Local IVF clinics. Circle works closely with the most-successful IVF clinics in North Carolina (and throughout the United States), which helps to reduce travel costs associated with your journey. Also, you can request to be matched with a surrogate who lives local to your clinic to reduce the amount of travel across state lines.

• Local surrogates. Circle works with surrogates from North Carolina and all of the surrounding states.

• We work with intended parents of all backgrounds. For 25 years we’ve helped straight and LGBTQ+ couples and singles fulfill their dreams of parenthood.

• High success rates. We're the most successful surrogacy agency with a success rate of 99.3% for parents (we've had our success rates audited by a reputable tax and audit firm).

• North Carolina Surrogacy Laws. North Carolina has long been known as a great location to pursue surrogacy. North Carolina surrogacy laws are favorable for all parties.

The surrogacy process in North Carolina

The surrogacy process can feel complex and overwhelming, as there are many moving parts. Working with an agency can help you navigate the milestones and events throughout your journey so that you can focus on the most important thing: preparing for the arrival of your baby!

There are 5 key milestones in your surrogacy process:

Consultation & Sign-On. Meet with agency, sign on, create embryos.

Matching with your Surrogate. Parent profile and surrogate match.

Medical & Legal screenings/contracts. Medical screening, legal contracts, embryo transfer.

Pregnancy. Ultrasounds and check ins, prepare for birth.

Parenthood. Delivery day and new parent joy, travel home.

Working with a successful surrogacy agency with Circle Surrogacy means having a knowledgeable team partnering with you at every step.

Choosing a surrogacy agency

For both surrogate mothers and intended parents in North Carolina, the best place to start a surrogacy journey and finding a surrogacy agency is by doing your research. This can be in the form of online research, speaking with IVF doctors, or connecting with others who have been through the surrogacy process as surrogates or parents. There are many different agencies out there – from smaller, boutique agencies to larger, full-service agencies – and it's important to understand their differences so you can make an informed decision. Things to consider when choosing a surrogacy agency include: the legal services they offer, their experience and success rates, their surrogate screening process and – almost as important – if you “click” with the people with whom you meet.

Finding a surrogate and egg donor

At Circle Surrogacy, you will work closely with your Program Coordination Team to find the perfect surrogate match. You are about to embark on one of the most intimate journeys there is with someone, and Circle Surrogacy encourages strong relationships between intended parents and surrogates. Forming a strong bond with the woman who will carry your baby or babies provides comfort and confidence for parents, and can help them have more successful journeys. For those intended parents who require an egg donor to grow their family, they will match with an egg donor prior to matching with their surrogate. Intended Parents can search our egg donor database to find bright and ambitious young women who are excited for the opportunity to help them grow their family.

Pregnancy and parenthood

During the pregnancy is when intended parents and surrogates really deepen their relationship. Intended parents can expect updates on the pregnancy, and should maintain their weekly contact with their surrogate (at least). Depending on location and logistics, intended parents may visit their surrogate for ultrasound appointments, or in some cases, surrogates use video chat during appointments so the intended parents can "attend" virtually. Many intended parents travel to attend the ultrasound done at week 20, and use this time to also tour the hospital where their surrogate will be giving birth. From week 20 and beyond, Circle will be working closely with you to help prepare you for the birth of your baby, finalizing parentage, and ensuring you have everything you need to return home safely.

 Starting the surrogacy process

Starting the surrogacy process

Starting the surrogacy process may feel a little daunting, but when you work with an experienced agency, you can have confidence that you’ll be prepared for every step, and that you can focus on the arrival of your baby.

We’ve broken down beginning a surrogacy journey for you below to help you get started.

1. Familiarize yourself with surrogacy.
Surrogacy is a wonderful and fulfilling way to grow your family, but it's important to do your research to ensure that surrogacy is right for you. Having an understanding of what surrogacy is, and what the process is like is a good way to start your journey.

2. Will you work with an agency?
When you've decided that surrogacy is how you would like to grow your family, you can either work with an agency, or do an independent surrogacy journey. Understanding the pros and cons of both will help you make your decision.

3. Choosing the best surrogacy agency.
There are many surrogacy agencies out there, and there is one that's the right fit for you. Think about what's important to you - experience, location, size – and compare and contrast. Meeting with an agency is also a great way to see if you "fit" from a personality standpoint as well.

Next steps for North Carolina intended parents

Once intended parents have identified 1-3 agencies that seem like a good fit, we recommend reaching out to each surrogacy agency and scheduling a time to speak with their parent intake team. After you have initial conversations and questions answered, you can decide if you're ready for a full surrogacy consultation.

A surrogacy consultation is an in-depth meeting (about 2-2 1/2 hours long) with a parent intake consultant and a lawyer. This private meeting will allow us to get to know you and your story, as well as talk about surrogacy and the process as it related to your personal situation. We'll help you understand surrogacy programs and costs, as well.

Although we prefer to meet in-person with intended parents for our consultations, everyone’s health and safety is our primary focus. Instead of in-person meetings in the near future, we are offering free consultations with our team over Skype or Zoom.

If you're not ready for a full consultation but would like more information, you can schedule a 15-minute chat with a member of our team.

 Becoming a parent in North Carolina

Becoming a parent in North Carolina

Bringing a baby into your family is one of the greatest joys you can experience. Intended parents from North Carolina have been using surrogacy as a means to grow their families for decades. Surrogacy is a safe way to have the family you've always dreamed of.

Circle Surrogacy works with many parents on the east coast, and have strong representation in the mid-atlantic area, where we meet with parents and partner with local clinics.

Intended parents come to surrogacy after they’ve experienced loss, or struggled with their own fertility. Circle Surrogacy has created their programs and cost to provide the most cost security and success for intended parents.

Circle Surrogacy has a success rate of 99.3% for bringing home a baby. This rate is based on intended parents who completed one or two transfers, or had at least 3 transfers. It’s the highest success rate in the industry, and has been audited by an outside agency.

Our Parent Intake team has years of experience (some have worked with Circle for 15 years!) partnering with intended parents from the very early part of a journey, even before they are ready to commit. We’ll answer all of your questions and provide guidance and support.

How much does surrogacy cost?

If you live in North Carolina you can plan for surrogacy costs of $125,500 or $135,500 (surrogacy only, depending on the program you choose) and $149,500 or $159,500 (surrogacy plus egg donation, depending on the program you choose). These costs are exclusive of IVF costs.

To better understand what goes into surrogacy costs, it helps to look at them compartmentalized into four categories:

  • Professional Fees (agency and legal)
  • Gestational Carrier (i.e., surrogate) and Egg Donor Fees
  • Medical & Insurance Expenses (transfer and medical insurance)
  • IVF Expenses (embryo creation)

Most agencies do not offer fixed costs for any of these cost categories, which can result in surprise fees and financial uncertainty throughout the surrogacy journey. However, Circle Surrogacy fixes the costs for Professional Fees, Gestational Carrier and Egg Donor Fees and Medical & Insurance Expenses.

Circle Surrogacy offers two fixed cost surrogacy programs in North Carolina from which intended parents can choose: our Fixed Cost program and our Journey Protection Guarantee program. Both options have fixed costs that do not change during your journey, so you can plan for costs with no surprises.

Even though we're a large agency, our programs are not "one size fits all". We work with all intended parents separately to understand their needs and help them find the program best suited for their journey.

Fixed Cost Program

Surrogacy only: $125,500
Surrogacy plus egg donation: $149,500
(both prices exclude IVF)

Our Fixed Cost Program provides intended parents the security of paying one fixed price for a single transfer journey, reducing unexpected expenses and the uncertainty of variable costs.

Learn More

Journey Protection Guarantee Program

Surrogacy only: $135,500
Surrogacy plus egg donation: $159,500
(both prices exclude IVF)

Our Journey Protection Guarantee offers intended parents unlimited transfers for a fixed price, plus the Circle Promise: we’ll refund 100% of our agency fee plus unused third-party funds if you do not bring home a baby.

Learn More

Financing your surrogacy journey

Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation is proud to be the only surrogacy agency to offer an exclusive financing plan for intended parents living in Massachusetts, through our partnership with Origin Finance, LLC. Our new financing plan helps make surrogacy an option for even more intended parents to grow their families.

Our financing plan option allows Intended Parents to borrow $65,000 of the cost of their journey, and pay that portion over a term of either three (3) or six (6) years.

Learn more about our financing plan here, or by calling 323.366.1529.

 Finding a surrogate mother in North Carolina

Finding a surrogate mother in North Carolina

Finding your surrogate match is an exciting time in your journey to parenthood. Circle works with many surrogate mothers from North Carolina, as well as most of the surrounding states. See how to go about finding the gestational surrogate who will carry your baby(ies)!

Matching with a surrogate is a big step in your journey – this is the woman who will carry you baby(ies) until delivery day! It's important to match with a surrogate who has similar values, goals and personality, since you will be building a strong relationship with her! Sharing a surrogacy journey is one of the most intimate experiences you'll probably go through.

A good place to start is to think about what's important to you in your gestational carrier and journey. Does it matter where your surrogate lives? Do you imagine a lot of contact and communication? These are great first questions to answer!

It's important to be honest when thinking about your answers, as your Circle Program Coordination Team uses these answers – as well as your geographic location and views on termination – in order to find you the best match.

You'll be asked to fill out an intended parent profile that not only allows us to get to know you better, but also helps our team find your surrogate match.

This profile is filled with information about your, your relationship (if you are coupled), your family, your hobbies, your plans for parenthood, and what brought you to surrogacy. We'll ask that you also share photos of yourself, your loved ones and of anything else that gives a good sense of who you are as people.

In addition to your profile, there are certain criteria on which you will be matched with your gestational carrier.

Intended Parent matching criteria includes their preferences on:

  • Level of communication with their surrogate during the journey
  • Location of the surrogate mother
  • Number of embryos to transfer
  • Views on selective reduction and termination

If you are doing an independent surrogacy journey, you can use the above as guidelines as to what you should be looking for in a suitable match.

 3 criteria for finding surrogate mothers

3 criteria for finding surrogate mothers

If you’re working with a surrogacy agency, your agency team will help you find a surrogate mother. They will use a few certain criteria to match you.

1. Appropriate legal fit
In the United States, each state has its own laws regarding surrogacy. Outside the U.S., each country has different requirements and laws regarding surrogacy. Circle’s experienced legal team ensures that the laws of the surrogate’s home state (where the delivery will take place) complement the laws of intended parents' home state/country (including laws around same sex parenting). Our legal team will always approve a match from a legal standpoint before a surrogate profile is presented to intended parents. We will never knowingly present matches that are not a safe legal fit.

2. Personality fit and surrogacy expectations
Once the legal team presents its list of safe matches, the Surrogate Advisors and Program Coordinators and Managers review the list together to find the best personality fits, since we want this to be a comfortable relationship throughout the entirety of the journey. Circle Surrogacy will also use the information gathered from individual phone calls or in-person meetings with both surrogates and intended parents early in process to determine good personality fits. We also look at IPs' and surrogates' expectations and hopes for the journey including the number of embryos to transfer and communication styles.

3. Expectations Surrounding Termination and Selective Reduction
As an intended parent or surrogate, you will be asked about your views on termination of a pregnancy. This is a standard question asked early in the process. Parents and surrogates must share similar views on this topic in order for a match to be considered. We want to ensure that the views of the surrogate and the views of the intended parents align in the event a situation arises where a reduction or termination is considered. In our experience, many intended parents prefer the option to make the choice of termination.

 Beautiful group of women who are egg donors

Finding an egg donor in North Carolina

If you require an egg donor to grow your family, Circle Egg Donation can help you find the perfect match. How do you select the young woman who will provide half of your child's biology? Here's how to go about finding your egg donor match in North Carolina or any other state.

How to start your egg donor search

Finding the perfect egg donor can feel like an overwhelming task. How do you begin to find an egg donor who will help you grow your family?

As you start your search, it's a good idea to have some thoughts as to what's important to you in an egg donor match.

The first place most intended parents start their egg donor search is in an egg donor database. Most Egg Donor databases are set up so that you can search for an egg donor by certain criteria. Circle's egg donor database is easy to use, and easy to navigate.

It can be helpful to make a list of search criteria before you begin. Things to consider are:

Physical attributes (hair/eye color)

  • Race/ethnicity
  • Education
  • Previous fertility
  • Geography

Within each donor profile, you'll find a tremendous amount of additional information, including:

  • Personal information
  • Favorite hobbies, activities, foods
  • Family medical history
  • Motivation for becoming a donor
And remember, nature vs nurture – not every characteristic or trait is hereditary!
You may not know what you're looking for in a donor, and that's okay! Some intended parents take the "I'll know her when I see her" approach!

3 types of egg donation

It used to be that the only type of egg donation available was anonymous, and intended parents had no relationship or identifying details about their donor. Today, many intended parents choose 'Known Donation' and have relationships with their egg donors. We have found that it gives children a sense of who they are and where they came from.

With Known Donation, Intended parents and the egg donor learn each other's names and have the opportunity to get to know each other. Circle believes knowing where he/she came from is important for a child's sense of identity. In addition, known egg donation allows you and your children to remain updated about the your egg donor's medical history as it changes over time.

Parents and egg donors can also choose between two other types of egg donation:

  • Semi-Known Donation in which a limited amount of information is exchanged
  • Anonymous donation in which there is no open contact or communication between parents and the donor.

For egg donation in North Carolina, you have the flexibility to choose whichever type of egg donation with which you're the most comfortable.

3 reasons to choose Circle Egg Donation

1. Circle has a thorough egg donor screening process
Egg donors who work with Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation need to meet a variety of medical, psychological, and demographic screening requirements to make sure they’re a healthy reproductive match for your family. Egg donors fill out lengthy questionnaires, and participate in a thorough screening with a social worker prior to be accepted into our program. When they have passed all screening, only then will they be added to our egg donor database.

2. Circle offers Unlimited Egg Donor Matching
The Circle team does everything in our power to make your egg donation experience seamless and hassle-free. That’s why we offer Unlimited Egg Donor Matching, meaning we’ll keep matching you with new Circle Egg Donors until a live birth is achieved. It may take more (or less!) time than you expect, but working with our team means you’ll find the right donor.

3. Circle is the most experienced egg donation agency
Circle is a premier egg donor agency with 25 years of experience, and is partnered with outstanding IVF clinics around the country. Our staff brings a wealth of egg donation experience, and full confidence that we can help you choose the perfect egg donor. We’re ready to guide you through finding an egg donor in Massachusetts, the entire egg donation process and helping you coordinate with an IVF clinic of your choice.

 Surrogacy laws in North Carolina

Surrogacy laws in North Carolina

North Carolina appears to be moving along the same progressive timeline as many other states, recently proposing a favorable surrogacy statute. If passed, gestational surrogacy agreements would be officially recognized by North Carolina: “The consideration, if any, paid to a gestational carrier shall be reasonable and negotiated in good faith between the parties. Compensation may not be conditioned upon the health or characteristics of any fetus, embryo, or child produced as the result of assisted reproduction.”

In North Carolina, courts will grant pre-birth orders for heterosexual and same sex couples or singles using an egg donor or sperm donor. Also, both intended parents can be declared the legal parents in a pre-birth order if no parent is genetically related to the child for both same sex couples and single parents.

Birth certificates in North Carolina

  • Same sex parents are named on the birth certificate as Father/Parent or Mother/Parent
  • International same sex male couples can obtain a birth certificate naming both the biological father and the second father, with no mention of the gestational carrier
 Becoming a surrogate mother in North Carolina

Becoming a surrogate mother in North Carolina

If you're looking to become a surrogate mother in North Carolina, Circle Surrogacy has worked with many women from NC on surrogacy journeys. The courts are generally favorable to gestational surrogacy, having had a long history of successful surrogacy arrangements.

In order to qualify to become a surrogate mom, here are some requirements an applicant must meet:

Health and Physical

  • Has delivered a child of their own, and is currently parenting at least one child.
  • Has had uncomplicated pregnancies and deliveries, as documented by medical records.
  • Is between 21-41 years of age.
  • Typically has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of no higher than 33. Calculate My BMI.

Geographical

  • Lives in a surrogacy-friendly state (like NC!)
  • Is a citizen, legal resident or legal immigrant of the United States. If a surrogate is a legal resident or legal immigrant of the United States, the surrogate must be able to provide documentation that is valid for at least 2 years.

Financial

  • Does not participate in the following government aid programs: cash assistance, welfare, public housing and section 8. All other forms of government assistance will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Benefits of being a surrogate in North Carolina

Women who become surrogates in North Carolina are women who have enjoyed being pregnant, and who are done growing their own families. They are generous, adventurous and kind.

They are all passionate about family, and helping others experience the joy of parenthood.

  • Women in NC have the option to choose to work with a local clinic, to avoid having to travel by plan during COVID-19 when there are travel restrictions.
  • Gain an incredible sense of self-fulfillment from giving the greatest gift humanly possible to another family
  • Exceptional Compensation and benefits
  • Build a life-long relationship with forever-grateful intended parents
  • Work with a personal journey coordination team and licensed social worker
  • Consult with your legal representation to guide you through the legal process
 Compensation for surrogates in North Carolina

Compensation for surrogates in North Carolina

How much do surrogate mothers make? The monetary benefits of becoming a surrogate mother are significant, but nothing compares to the pride a surrogate feels the moment she watches her intended parents meet their baby for the first time.

As a surrogate from Wilmington, Raleigh, Asheville or surrounding areas, you have the opportunity to earn between $50,000 and $60,000 in payments and benefits. Surrogate mothers are paid a base fee of between $30,000-$40,000, plus additional compensation and benefits for milestones along their journey.

How much you will make as a surrogate will depend on a few criteria: the state you live in, if you have insurance, and if you're an experienced gestational carrier.

Calculate your surrogate pay in North Carolina with our surrogate compensation calculator.

Your surrogate compensation is paid to you throughout the duration of your surrogacy journey. In fact, you will receive payments before you are even pregnant!

Surrogate pay includes the following:

• Base compensation. Calculate your base compensation with the calculator above to see how much you could earn as a surrogate in your state.

Payments before you are pregnant. You will be compensated early in your journey for completing tasks and milestones. These payments are in addition to your base compensation.

Payments during and after pregnancy. Surrogate mothers also receive financial support for necessities during the pregnancy, such as maternity clothing, housekeeping, for pumping and shipping breast milk and more.

Additional benefits. Surrogates will also receive benefits that while are not in the form of monetary payments, are priceless in ensuring you're protected and you have a smooth journey. These benefits include: social work support, legal counsel, life insurance and more.

 Intended Parents spending time with their surrogate carrier, Ashtin

How Circle Surrogacy supports surrogates

As the world leader in this field, Circle brings 25 years of experience and passion to surrogacy in North Carolina. Our team supports you every step of the way—from the day you begin exploring surrogacy to your meeting with the prospective parents, and throughout your entire pregnancy to birth. We’ll help you navigate the screening process, ensure you match with the perfect intended parent or parents, and guide you through the legal and social work aspects of surrogate parenting.

At Circle Surrogacy, our surrogates will find experienced surrogates on staff who can answer any questions they may have, and share their experiences. They’ve been in the applicants’ shoes, so they can talk openly and honestly about the entire process.

We can also connect you with skilled, trustworthy experts. For example, when it’s time for you to review legal contracts, we’ll recommend an attorney local to you with whom we’ve worked with previously, and who has a strong working knowledge of Assisted Reproduction Technology law. It’s just one more way we can clear the path for you and make the entire surrogacy program as seamless as possible. Read our blog post about the 10 steps to becoming to a surrogate.

 Finding a perfect intended parent match

Finding a perfect intended parent match

When intended parents and surrogates are matched, it's a very exciting time during the journey. Parents and surrogates may feel some apprehension and nervousness, but above all, they should feel excitement at the prospect of being matched for this extraordinary experience. Many of our parents and surrogates describe this initial matching and meeting like a “first date”.

At Circle, we work hard to find the best possible match for all parties. Unlike other agencies, intended parents and surrogates may not see multiple profiles from which they can choose. Instead, matches are hand-selected based on preferences of both parties, plus additional criteria.

When gestational carriers and intended parents begin working with Circle, they are asked questions to help determine the best possible match.

Surrogate mothers will work with their Surrogate Advisor to find the best match. Surrogate matching criteria includes her preferences on:

  • How much communication she’d like to have with her intended parents
  • Where the intended parents live (domestic or international)
  • Number of embryos to transfer
  • Views on selective reduction and termination

The criteria you use to determine a good match is personal to you. Some parents look to hear why a surrogate has applied to do a surrogacy journey. Some gestational carriers like to hear intended parents' past - how they met, and why they are interested in growing their family. Other times, it's a gut feeling that it's "right". One surrogate shared with us, "When we started our video call to get to know the intended parents I connected with them instantly and just knew immediately that I wanted to help them!"

 How to get started

How to get started

Surrogacy is one of the most rewarding experiences for all parties involved. If you are interested in becoming an intended parent, becoming a surrogate or applying to be an egg donor, we're ready to educate you and partner with you on your journey. Learning more about surrogacy is the first step of your journey.