If you are an intended parent looking to have a baby through surrogacy in South Carolina, check out these FAQs specific to surrogacy in the state of SC. Finding a surrogate mother for your family-building needs can feel overwhelming and complex. How exactly do you find a surrogate in South Carolina who is perfect for your family and unique situation? Once you know the answers to these frequently asked questions about working with a surrogate in South Carolina, you will feel much more comfortable with the surrogacy process and be ready to start your journey. Still have questions? Click here to set-up a free phone consultation where we can answer your specific questions or concerns about the surrogacy process in the state of South Carolina.
What is surrogacy and why would someone need to use a surrogate mother to have a baby in South Carolina?
Surrogacy is an arrangement in which a woman intends and agrees to become pregnant for and to carry a pregnancy for someone else (“Intended Parent(s)” or “IP(s)”) who is/are intended to be the child’s legal and natural parent(s) after birth. As you undergo the surrogacy process, you should know there are two types of surrogates: gestational surrogates and traditional (genetic) surrogates.
A Gestational Carrier (medical term)/Gestational Surrogate (“Non-Genetic Surrogate”) is not genetically related to the child she carries. Modern technology allows the gestational surrogate to become pregnant with and carry a fetus that’s genetically unrelated to her by transferring embryos to her uterus formed via in vitro fertilization (“IVF”) using donor eggs or the eggs of the intended mother.
A Traditional Surrogate (“Genetic Surrogate”) becomes pregnant and carries a fetus genetically related to her by either having embryos formed via IVF using her eggs and the intended father’s sperm or donor sperm transferred to her uterus, or by achieving pregnancy by intra-uterine insemination using the intended father’s sperm or donor sperm. A traditional surrogate is a biological mother, but she intends to become pregnant and carry a child with the intention of relinquishing potential parental rights to the intended parent(s) upon birth. She never intends to become pregnant to have her own child. Genetic Surrogacy is traditionally not achieved by sexual intercourse.
Learn more about surrogacy on the Fertility Café podcast: Episode 2 | Surrogacy 101: When It Takes a Village to Start a Family
How long is the surrogacy process in South Carolina?
In general, the surrogacy process could take up to 15-18 months. Of course, this time frame can vary greatly depending on your circumstances. If you need to find an egg or sperm donor or create embryos, this may add an additional 3-4 months to the process. The bottom line is that surrogacy is not a quick process. But, up ‘til this point, has anything in your journey to parenthood been quick? So you know what it takes to be patient. The surrogacy process will be long, but well worth it in the end.
Click here to see the step-by-step process Family Inceptions Surrogacy Agency takes to ensure your surrogacy journey is smooth, as we walk beside you every step of the way: The Surrogacy Process
Is surrogacy legal in South Carolina?
In South Carolina, gestational surrogacy is permitted because no statutes or case law prohibit it. There is case law on the books declaring it valid by way of acknowledging the validity of surrogacy agreements: Mid-South Ins. Co. v. Doe. Consequently, South Carolina is an intent based parenting state. Under In re Baby Doe, 291 S.C. 389, 392 (1987) that court determined that evidence of a parent’s intent to create life and hold a child out as their own, despite a lack of genetics, will result in legal parentage rights.
Traditional (genetic) surrogacy is also legal in South Carolina, but is treated more like adoption and, therefore, may be illegal—unless payments are reasonable pursuant to the adoption statute S.C. Code Sec. 63-9-310(F)(1).
The legal process to secure parental rights can vary across the state—it could be different in Columbia from how it is in Charleston, different in Myrtle Beach from how it is in Greenville. We strongly recommend retaining legal counsel, knowledgeable of reproductive law in the state. This is of particular importance if you’re pursuing surrogacy as an international candidate- that is, if you’re from outside of the United States and working with a surrogate in South Carolina.
NOTE: The laws around surrogacy are constantly changing and may vary from state-to-state (sometimes varied by county). Based on our experience, written law and practiced law in a number of states can differ widely. Thus, it is very important that you not only get yourself familiar with the law of your state, but also seek legal representation to assist and guide you in your unique circumstances.
- Read more about the laws regarding surrogacy in the state of SC: Surrogacy Law in South Carolina
- Research the surrogacy laws in your state: US Surrogacy Law by State
What is the cost of surrogacy in South Carolina?
The average cost of surrogacy in the state of South Carolina is $110,000 -$200,000.
It’s a wide range, we understand. Surrogate costs may differ due to various reasons. These can include varying costs of medical screening at your fertility clinic, surrogate expenses, etc. We invite you to review the approximate fees and costs associated with selecting a surrogate through Family Inceptions.
Family Inceptions is pleased to offer Fertility Financing for the entire surrogacy cycle.
Estimated Surrogacy Cost & Fees Include:
- Surrogacy Agency Management Fees – $22,000 – $30,000
- Legal Fees – $7,000 – $12,000
- Medical Screening, Medications & Embryo Transfer – $8,000 – $13,000
- Surrogate Mother Prenatal and Delivery Care – $12,000 – $28,000
- Other (travel, monitoring, other insurance etc.) – $2,500 – $4,800
As every surrogacy journey is unique and the cost of surrogacy differs based on many factors, it’s best to book a consultation with Family Inceptions Surrogacy Agency to get all the details.
Thinking about foregoing the surrogacy agency and doing an independent surrogacy journey? We recommend enrolling in an DIY online surrogacy course to learn the ins and outs of surrogacy, including the costs, finding the right surrogate, and how to the legal elements to secure your legal parentage in the state of SC. Download it here: Surrogacy Roadmap
Read more about the cost of surrogacy on our blog: 12 Ways You Can Save Money on Surrogacy
Can I deduct my surrogacy expense in the state of SC?
Until very recently, tax breaks and laws for those using an egg donor or surrogate to create or grow their family have been murky to non-existent.
Things started to change in 2003 when the IRS ruled that couples using IVF could deduct fees associated with their treatment. This included costs associated with fertilization and embryo transfer. Additionally, agency fees, donor fees, and even medical and psychological testing fees are covered as medical expenses. Finally, insurance premiums connected with post-procedure care and even your legal fees (as related to contract preparation) can also qualify.
When it comes to your surrogate expenses, however, it’s a different conversation entirely. For the most part, most expenses will not qualify as a medical deduction. The exception would be surrogate expenses that can be tracked to an underlying medical condition that you have that makes it impossible for you to carry your own pregnancy.
You should consult with your tax professional and doctor to discuss your history of infertility to see what deductions may apply. A tax lawyer may be able to offer additional insight. It is wise to discuss your questions and concerns with a tax professional, tax attorney, or CPA to find the best solution for your individual situation.
Read more about surrogacy and tax deductions on our blog: Can I Deduct Surrogacy Expenses?
How do I find surrogacy agencies near me in South Carolina?
Family Inceptions is a surrogacy and egg donation agency, first established in 2008, and has been helping local families and surrogates looking to complete the journey of surrogacy in Greenville, Columbia, Charleston, and Sumter, as well as the surrounding cities. We help families from metro Spartanburg, to Myrtle Beach, Florence on down to Anderson. We are a full-service Surrogacy and Egg Donation agency, providing both surrogates and egg donors for intended parents across the state. While we have general guidelines, we make sure to individualize plans intended for specific timelines, preferences, and locations. This individualization is what makes Family Inceptions one of the top surrogacy agencies in South Carolina.
Read more about finding a surrogacy agency near you: Locations for Intended Parents, Surrogates, and Egg Donors
Does insurance cover surrogacy in South Carolina?
There are many costs associated with fertility treatment, pregnancy and eventually, the delivery of one (or more) children in the case of multiples. Whether it’s the in vitro process, your gestational surrogate’s care or unexpected NICU costs; considering insurance coverage, what you have, what your surrogate has and what you may need is highly recommended. It’s also important to note that there’s a difference between insurance for the actual pregnancy and coverage for the baby/babies once they are born. The insurance for the child goes on the intended parent’s insurance or a separate newborn insurance plan, while the surrogate’s insurance can be used for the pregnancy.
Ever since the 1980’s, there are only fifteen states that require insurance companies to cover infertility treatment in general. Not many insurance companies cover the cost of in vitro fertilization (IVF) let alone the embryo transfer to a gestational surrogate. Depending on your specific plan however, your policy may cover the cost, donor needs (if applicable), medications and very rarely your surrogate’s care.
Therefore, one of the first things you should do is contact either your human resources department (if your insurance is through yours or your partner’s job) or your insurance company directly to ask exactly what is and isn’t covered. On your call, you want to ask specifically what is covered (screening, medications, actual procedures) and if there is a lifetime maximum.
Another question to ask your insurance is when a newborn can be added to your policy. For example, if it’s possible to add your baby in the third trimester, this will make sure your child is covered for the delivery.
When considering a surrogate, it is important to inquire if any of the surrogates you’re considering has health insurance. Some policies will cover a “surrogate pregnancy”. If this is the case, she will be able to stay with all of her in-network providers that she has already established a relationship with and it could offer you some savings. It is best your agency contact her insurance and ask if there are any additional exclusions to be aware of.
Read more about surrogacy and insurance on our blog: Surrogacy and Health Insurance 101 for Intended Parents
Will I need to have insurance for my surrogate in SC?
Medical insurance in surrogacy is so important. Not only is surrogacy a major financial undertaking for the intended parents, but the idea of unchecked medical costs could also be downright terrifying. This is why, for the protection of both our surrogates and our intended parents, we require every match that we facilitate carry insurance.
While most people in the US do have health insurance, surrogacy is a tricky thing. Many insurance plans will have exclusions for surrogacy pregnancy. This is particularly true for women serving in or covered by a spouse who serves, in the armed forces.
If a surrogate does not have a personal insurance plan that covers surrogacy, an intended parent is required to purchase and carry a medical insurance plan that will cover your related medical expenses during the course of your pregnancy.
Perhaps one of the best ways to get affordable health care coverage is with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This plan is open to anyone and does cover surrogate pregnancies (in most states), but you can only be enrolled in the plan over one period of six weeks every year. This period is known as open enrollment.
Read more about surrogacy and insurance on our blog: Insurance Enrollment for Surrogates: Will Insurance Cover My Surrogacy?
Is there a podcast that discusses surrogacy in South Carolina?
Yes! We highly recommend listening to the Fertility Café podcast, now streaming on Apple Podasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Google, and more. Here’s a little bit about the show:
Who ever thought making a baby could be so hard? Luckily, the fertility journey isn’t meant to be traveled alone. So grab a seat and let’s talk fertility and alternative family building with leading industry expert, Eloise Drane. FERTILITY CAFÉ is a weekly podcast focusing on all aspects of the fertility journey – from finding the right clinic and best reproductive endocrinologists, to navigating the egg and embryo donation process, to the ins-and-out of surrogacy including medical, legal, and financial aspects. Eloise has helped hundreds of people build (and grow) their families over the last 15 years, and speaks candidly on the processes involved in making the dream of a baby a reality NOW. Whether you’re an intended parent, a woman considering egg donation, thinking of becoming a surrogate yourself, or a friend or family member of someone dealing with infertility, this podcast will give you the insider information you’ve been seeking.
Listen to the Fertility Café podcast now: https://thefertilitycafe.com/
Whether you live in Greenville, Columbia, Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Spartanburg, Florence, or Sumter these FAQs about surrogacy in SC will help you find a surrogate, become a surrogate, or start your surrogacy journey.