Under current North Carolina law, it is presumed that a woman who gives birth to a child is the child’s mother, and her name is placed on the child birth certificate as the legal mother. If the woman is married, her husband is listed as the father.
In assisted reproduction scenarios, it is often not the case that the woman who gives birth to the child is the child’s mother and her husband is the child’s father. In order to ensure that the correct names are placed on the child’s birth certificate, intended parents must obtain a court order directing the hospital and Vital Records to place the names of the intended parents on the birth certificate instead of those of the surrogate and her husband. This way, changing the child’s name on the birth certificate does not become necessary.
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By way of a prebirth order, the court can order that the intended parent(s)—instead of the surrogate and/or her husband—be identified on the birth certificate as the mother and/or father of the child. This can be helpful for gay intended parents, for single men or women who wanted a child and chose surrogacy or for couples who were unable to conceive a child and chose surrogacy as an alternative reproduction process.
Generally, a court hearing is not required, as the petition is made with the consent of all parties. However, the judge may require a hearing in order to verify that all parties are in agreement. In the event a pre-birth order is not issued, the intended parent(s) (even if they are already biologically related to the child) may need to adopt the child, and the process for adoption would then apply. If you have questions about prebirth orders, you can contact a family law attorney for assistance and guidance. With Haas Tharrington, P.A., your best interest will be our priority.