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The Ultimate Guide to Surrogacy in South Carolina

For many people who are interested in surrogacy in South Carolina—whether as intended parents or surrogates—the first step is often researching how to start the process. Circle Surrogacy can help you, from the start of this incredible journey through the entire process, navigating each milestone along the way. We've been helping people in their surrogacy journeys for more than 25 years in South Carolina and throughout the U.S. We'll help you learn about the surrogacy process, how to become a surrogate, how to find a surrogate, and all the other details involved in surrogacy.

 Table of Contents

Table of Contents

 An Overview of Surrogacy in South Carolina

An Overview of Surrogacy in South Carolina

South Carolina's central location on the East Coast is close to well-known IVF clinics, making for easy travel. From Charleston to Columbia and Greenville to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina residents partner with Circle Surrogacy on their journeys.

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

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

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

South Carolina is considered a surrogacy-friendly state for both gestational carriers and intended parents. On this page, we've compiled all the information you need to know about surrogacy in South Carolina, helping you begin your journey as an intended parent or a surrogate mother. You'll learn how Circle Surrogacy helps smooth the path of that journey, what's involved in the state's surrogacy process, how much surrogacy costs, and how to become parents or a surrogate mother.

 Why South Carolina Is a Great State for Surrogacy

Why South Carolina Is a Great State for Surrogacy

South Carolina is a surrogacy-friendly state where favorable surrogacy court rulings have allowed Circle Surrogacy to successfully match surrogates with intended parents for many years.

Intended parents who choose surrogacy to grow their families in South Carolina enjoy benefits such as:

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

Local surrogates. If you're interested in working with a surrogate mother who lives close to you, Circle works with surrogates from South Carolina and 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.)

Flexible consultation schedule. We are available for consults via Skype during the day and evenings. Learn more about our free virtual consultations and upcoming webinars.

The Surrogacy Process in South Carolina

When intended parents or gestational carriers work with Circle Surrogacy, the surrogacy process doesn't seem as complex as you may have believed initially. We help you navigate the process one milestone at a time, eventually reaching that exciting destination: delivery day!

Some intended parents choose to pursue surrogacy independently and often find the process more complicated than expected. When you work with an agency such as Circle Surrogacy, you have access to 25 years of experience guiding you throughout your journey.

Choosing an Agency
Finding an agency that's a good fit begins with researching various agencies. What does a good fit mean? A surrogacy agency will be part of one of the most significant experiences of your life, so sensing good chemistry with the agency's team members is essential. The agency as a whole should also share your views about the surrogacy process. Because surrogacy laws vary from state to state, it's important the agency has lawyers with expertise in Assisted Reproductive

Technology (ART) and surrogacy law. Circle Surrogacy's lawyers are knowledgeable about South Carolina's surrogacy laws.

Finding a Surrogate and Egg Donor
Typically, intended parents who use donated eggs find and match with an egg donor before being matched with a surrogate. Intended parents can search for bright, ambitious young women who look forward to helping you grow your family using our egg donor database. After finding the perfect surrogate match who will carry your baby, it's important to form a strong bond with her. Your Program Coordination team at Circle Surrogacy has the experience needed to make that happen.
Pregnancy and Parenthood
Visiting for your surrogate's appointments is an option if she lives in or near South Carolina. This is a good way to develop a solid relationship with her during pregnancy as the journey continues through to the birth of your child or children. Our agency supports intended parents throughout their journeys, helping them prepare to travel for the birth and ensuring they have everything necessary to return home safely.
 Starting the Surrogacy Process

Starting the Surrogacy Process

Scheduling a consultation is the first step in the surrogacy process once you've narrowed down your agency options. The consultation offers you the chance to share your story and ask questions about the process. It's also a good time to determine if an agency feels like a good fit for your journey. The consultation usually takes more than 2 hours and includes a parent intake consultant and a lawyer. You'll learn more about surrogacy and the process as it relates to your personal situation. We'll help you understand surrogacy programs and costs, as well.
 Becoming a Parent in South Carolina

Becoming a Parent in South Carolina

Becoming a parent in South Carolina is safe and simple. It’s a surrogacy-friendly state for intended parents interested in growing their families through surrogacy and egg donation.

Circle Surrogacy works with many parents in South Carolina, North Carolina, and surrounding states, partnering with regional IVF clinics. The cost of surrogacy is on the minds of virtually all intended parents, and our comprehensive cost sheets outline the surrogacy costs you should expect in a typical surrogacy journey.

How Much Does Surrogacy Cost?

The cost of surrogacy depends on the specific program chosen by intended parents and whether an egg donor is needed. We help intended parents understand the specifics of the surrogacy programs available and how much you can expect to pay for egg donation. Circle Surrogacy is transparent in its surrogacy options, costs, and process.

Circle Surrogacy offers two exclusive fixed price program options: 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. Circle is the only agency that offers these types of programs. Our Fixed Cost Program and Journey Protection Guarantee are designed to help as many intended parents as possible bring home a baby while reducing variable costs.
Fixed Cost Program

Surrogacy only: $128,750
Surrogacy plus egg donation: $149,750
(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: $137,250
Surrogacy plus egg donation: $158,250
(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 South Carolina, 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.

Learn more about our financing plan here, or by calling 415.906.7278.
 Finding a Surrogate Mother in South Carolina

Finding a Surrogate Mother in South Carolina

Circle Surrogacy helps connect intended parents with surrogates in South Carolina and the surrounding states. One of the most exciting parts of your surrogacy journey is finding a surrogate mother match.

Get Started

Prepare for your search by spending time thinking about what characteristics are important to you when choosing a gestational carrier. Whether you're making the journey on your own or with a surrogacy agency, it helps to have a good sense of what you're looking for before meeting with a potential surrogate. Honestly communicating your preferences—what you’d like your relationship with your surrogate to be and the expectations you have for your journey—helps ensure that Circle presents you with good match options.

We ask intended parents to fill out a profile that helps us get to know them better and find appropriate surrogate matches.

The information we ask for in the profile includes your:

• Relationship (if you have a partner)
• Family
• Hobbies and activities
Plans for parenthood
• Reasons for pursuing surrogacy

We'll ask that you also share photos of yourself, your loved ones and any other photos that give a good sense of who you are as people.

Your Circle Program Coordination team uses your answers—as well as your geographic location and views on termination—so it's important to be honest when you answer these questions. That honesty is a key element of finding the best surrogate match for you.

In addition to your profile, we will use other specific criteria to match you with your gestational carrier. Intended parent matching criteria include preferences on:

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

If you are making an independent surrogacy journey, you can use the above as guidelines for what you should look for in a suitable match.

 3 Criteria for Finding Surrogate Mothers

3 Criteria for Finding Surrogate Mothers

When you begin your search for a surrogate, it's essential to consider these 3 criteria:

Appropriate legal fit: Our lawyers ensure that potential matches meet South Carolina surrogacy law requirements before presenting surrogate profiles to intended parents.

Personality fit and surrogacy expectations: It's important that both surrogates and intended parents feel comfortable with each other during their journey, so your Program Coordination team reviews the list of safe matches provided by the legal team to ensure good personality fits.

Expectations surrounding termination and selective reduction: Sharing similar views about terminating a pregnancy is very important if something occurs and reduction or termination needs to be considered. In our experience, many intended parents prefer the option to make the choice regarding termination.

 Bright, young egg donor ready to match with intended parents

Finding an Egg Donor in South Carolina

If you're growing your family using eggs donated by a fertile woman, Circle Surrogacy can help you find an egg donor in South Carolina and guide you through the entire egg donation process. Egg donation enables another woman to conceive a child—whether she's the intended parent herself or a surrogate for heterosexual or homosexual couples or individuals.

In addition to assisting your search for an egg donor, Circle Surrogacy helps you coordinate with an IVF clinic of your choice. The first place most intended parents start their egg donor search is with an egg donor database. You can typically search egg donor databases by filtering for certain criteria. Circle's egg donor database is easy to use and easy to navigate.

 Surrogacy Laws in South Carolina

Surrogacy Laws in South Carolina

Surrogacy laws can be complex, so understanding the legalities around becoming a surrogate mother or a parent through surrogacy is important.

Gestational surrogacy is permitted in South Carolina because no statutes or case law prohibit it. There is case law that establishes the validity of gestational surrogacy by acknowledging surrogacy agreements are legal.

Determining Parentage in South Carolina

Circle's assisted reproductive technology attorneys work with intended parents and surrogates to develop pre-birth parentage orders for intended parents, regardless of their marital status or genetic relationship to the baby.
 Becoming a Surrogate Mother in South Carolina

Becoming a Surrogate Mother in South Carolina

Generous, adventurous, and kind women from all different backgrounds and jobs consider becoming surrogate mothers in South Carolina. They are passionate about their families, fearless and giving, and truly look forward to helping other people grow their families.

Requirements for Becoming a Surrogate Mother in South Carolina

Becoming a surrogate mother in South Carolina involves meeting certain requirements. A surrogate mother:

Has delivered a child of her own and is currently parenting at least one child
Has had pregnancies and deliveries without complications, as documented by medical records
Is between ages 21 and 41
Typically has a body mass index (BMI) of no higher than 33. Calculate My BMI.
Is a citizen, legal resident, or legal immigrant of the United States. If a surrogate is a legal resident or legal immigrant of the U.S., the surrogate must be able to provide documentation that is valid for at least 2 years.
Does not participate in the following government aid programs: cash assistance, welfare, public housing, or section 8. All other forms of government assistance will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Benefits of Being a Surrogate in South Carolina

Women who wish to become surrogate mothers in South Carolina do so for many reasons besides the generous compensation available. You will enjoy surrogate benefits such as:

  • Gaining an incredible sense of self-fulfillment from giving the greatest gift humanly possible to another family
  • Enjoying the opportunity to work with local intended parents, if you desire
  • Having the chance to work with local fertility clinics (and travel less)
  • Building a life-long relationship with forever-grateful intended parents
  • Working with a personal journey coordination team and licensed social worker
  • Consulting with your legal representation to guide you through the legal process

The Circle Surrogate Promise

We want each surrogate to have a successful, rewarding journey. To demonstrate the care we have for our carriers, we created the Circle Surrogate Promise. This unique commitment is based on the thoughts and comments shared by past carriers. We took these comments to heart and used them as inspiration to improve the experience for gestational carriers.

Guaranteed Pay, Security and Support

The Circle Surrogate Promise is a program exclusive to Circle Surrogates; no other agency can offer the same level of security and support.

Circle Surrogacy promises:

1. Guaranteed Compensation. Circle Surrogacy financially backs their intended parents, so a surrogate’s escrow account is always funded to ensure she is always paid in full and on time.

2. No medical bill liability. Circle Surrogacy takes on the liability of medical bills. We listened to our past surrogates and their frustrations with medical bills, and we’ve made big changes. While we can never stop having you receive medical bills (since you are the “patient”), our new Fixed Cost programs for intended parents allow us to protect both the surrogates and the intended parents and ensure all medical bills will be paid in a timely manner.

3. $5,000 compensation, even if you leave the program. If you are accepted into our surrogate program and you are medically cleared and matched with intended parents – but you don’t achieve a pregnancy – we will compensate you for your time, energy, and dedication thus far in your journey (up to $5,000 total).

4. Empowerment in birth choices. Not every gestational carrier has the same desires when it comes to the birth of their surrogate baby. At Circle, our surrogates have choices for their preferred birth options, such as doula care, a hospital birth, or using a birth center with a midwife.

5. Personalized, small agency feel, with the resources of a large agency. The first person you speak with at Circle will likely be an experienced carrier. The carrier guides you through the process until you are matched with intended parents, personally introducing you to your dedicated social worker and journey support team, all of whom are in-house at Circle. You’ll always be supported by a Circle employee who knows all the details about you and your journey—you’ll never have to worry about working with a third party who doesn’t even know your name! Plus, with our expanded team, we are able to offer support groups, virtual events, one-on-one surrogate mentorship and more.

 how much does surrogacy cost

Surrogate Compensation in South Carolina

Gestational surrogates are paid for carrying a baby for someone. This compensation is often called a "surrogate base compensation" or "surrogate payment." Base compensation for a surrogate in South Carolina can range from $40,000-$45,000, depending on if the surrogate has insurance. As a surrogate with Circle Surrogacy, you will be paid your base compensation plus additional payments for milestones along your journey.

The total compensation package for a surrogate from South Carolina can be up to $60,000-$65,000+.

How does surrogate pay work?

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. This depends on whether you have health insurance, if you're a first-time surrogate, and the state where you will be a surrogate.

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, pumping and shipping breast milk, and more.

Additional benefits. Surrogates will also receive benefits that, while not 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.

Your base compensation is paid monthly in 9 installments beginning with the confirmation of a heartbeat, which occurs around 6 weeks gestation. However, you will receive compensation in the time leading up to that for transfers as well as the medical screening and signing of your contract.

How Circle Supports Surrogates

Our passion and experience for surrogacy are unsurpassed in South 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.

Many members of the Circle Surrogacy team are experienced surrogates. (Some have completed 3 journeys!) That means we’re not just bringing you world-class expertise in the myriad legal, social, and medical aspects of your surrogacy process. We’re also delivering hands-on guidance that’s informed by our experience. Our team is ready to answer any question you can dream of (and then some).

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 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.

 Intended Parents meeting surrogate mother

Finding a Perfect Intended Parent Match

Circle Surrogacy uses an extensive, thorough matching process that helps ensure you find prospective parents you connect with and fully trust. Together, you'll embark on an incredible, intimate journey.

Your Surrogate Support team starts by searching for the perfect intended parent(s) for you based on personality fit and legal circumstances. Surrogates and potential matches review each other’s profiles, ask questions, and generally feel each other out. There will also be an initial Skype call and possibly an in-person meeting. It’s all about making sure both you and the intended parent(s) feel completely comfortable with the match. And, of course, the surrogacy agreement only moves forward if you do.

Circle works with single parents, LGBTQ+ and heterosexual couples, domestic and international couples, and more. We’re confident you’ll be able to find a great match.

Getting Started

Whether you are intended parents or interested in becoming a surrogate or egg donor, the surrogacy process can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Learning more about surrogacy is the first step of your journey.