A Mom Who Gave Birth To Her Son Explains The 'Degrading' Process Of Having To Legally Adopt Him After He Was Born

No family should have to deal with this outdated process in 2023.

TikToker Alyssa Darling

A woman who carried and gave birth to her son nine months ago is explaining why she now has to legally adopt him.

Her struggles shed light on the unfair reality that same-sex parents have to face when it comes to starting and raising a family that heterosexual parents do not have to even think twice about. 

The mother explained the ‘degrading’ process of having to legally adopt her son after she carried him using her wife’s egg. 

Sam and Alyssa Darling are a married couple living in North Carolina with their two children, daughter Avery and son Wilder. In 2019, Alyssa got pregnant with their daughter via IVF, and in 2021, the couple went through IVF to conceive their second child, this time Sam carrying the baby using Alyssa’s egg.


Since their son is only biologically related to Alyssa, Sam must go through a difficult and lengthy process to ensure that she is the legal mother of Wilder in addition to her wife. 

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“Even though I gave birth to him, families like mine are not protected,” Sam says in a TikTok video while holding her baby boy. “We currently live in a red state so if we were to lose our rights, I wouldn’t be able to do certain things for my son like pick him up from daycare, make medical decisions, and that’s just not cool with us.”


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The state of North Carolina does not permit “second parent adoptions” or adoptions where two unmarried people can adopt a child. It is crucial for same-sex couples to get legally married if they want to pursue adoption. Even after taking these steps, the entire process is challenging for them. 

The name of the biological parent, which in this case was Alyssa, will be the only parent whose name is filed on the child’s birth certificate until a home study is conducted at the family’s home and the biological parents give their consent for their partner’s name to appear on the birth certificate. 

A home study is an evaluation process used by adoption agencies, foster care organizations, and courts to determine whether a person or a family is suitable to adopt or provide foster care for a child. The process involves a social worker visiting the prospective adoptive or foster parents at home to interview them, assess their living conditions, and evaluate their ability to care for a child. The goal of the home study is to ensure that the child will be placed in a safe, loving, and stable home. 


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Sam refers to the entire adoption process as 'degrading' for her and her family.

“You basically have to have someone come into your house and interview you to be able to raise your own child,” she says. “My wife has to give consent for me to adopt our own son as if I didn’t shove him out of my body.” 

Sam explains that because Alyssa is Wilder’s biological mother, she is viewed by North Carolina law as his “real mother” who does not have to sign any paper or undergo any extensive processes to keep her son. She encourages other same-sex parents to look into their state laws just in case anything were to ever “go south” and they could potentially lose custody of their children. 

TikTok users were shocked and sympathized with the mother who had to take endless measures just to legally raise her own son. “I’m sorry that you have to deal with this in 2023,” one user commented.


“I'm in Oregon and I had to adopt my own son. I'm the biological parent and had no rights,” another user shared. “I had no idea about this. Wow, that’s just kind of upsetting. I wish they’d recognize you both as the parents from the beginning,” another user wrote. 

As of now, Sam is still enduring the process of adopting her son and hopes for a future where same-sex parents will not have to worry about the issues she is dealing with now. 

“In North Carolina, I have to do a step-parent adoption, which feels like a slap in the face,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “But I’ll do whatever it takes to be sure I’m protected as his mom. Hopefully, in the future, we will see a day where LGBTQ+ couples don’t have to take extra precautions in parenthood.” 


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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.