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.