Parentage and Birth Certificate Issues

Making Sure Your Name Goes on Your Child’s Birth Certificate

Under current North Carolina law, it is presumed that a woman who gives birth to a child is the child’s mother, and the default under the law is to place her name on the child’s birth certificate as the legal mother. If the woman is married, her spouse is presumed to be the child’s other legal parent.

In assisted reproduction scenarios, it is often the case that the woman who gives birth to the child is not, in fact, the child’s mother and her spouse is not the child’s other parent.

In order to ensure that the correct names are placed on the child’s birth certificate, and that the intended parents are treated as the parents and empowered to do critical things like make medical decisions for their newborn and have the baby discharged into their care, the intended parents must obtain a court order directing the hospital and North Carolina Office of Vital Records to place the names of the intended parents on the birth certificate instead of those of the gestational carrier and her spouse.

Without such an Order, the intended parent(s) (even if they are genetically related to the child) may need to adopt their own child, and the process for adoption would then apply.

 Obtaining this type of court order is a rare and delicate process. It’s important that you work with experienced and knowledgeable attorneys. If you are working with a gestational carrier who is pregnant or planning to become pregnant, contact Village Law Group today. Before you welcome your little one into your village, you’ll need our village to make sure you’re legally attached in the right way.