More and more women are approaching me about the concept of freezing their eggs and fertility preservation pursuant to Florida law. It's a legitimate consideration women have to make when thinking about when they are ready to build their family and if they want or need to preserve their fertility. Women are born with a certain number of eggs which over time, the quality and quantity diminish once a woman is in her mid-30's. The concept of elective or social egg freezing is becoming more popular amongst women who want to freeze their eggs at a certain age to hopefully preserve their ability to have children when they are ready. Some women freeze eggs for health reasons, for example, prior to treatment for chemotherapy to protect the eggs before medical treatment. Some women freeze eggs to allow them to pursue their career before having children. Some women have not found the right partner to have a child with. I was quoted in the Daily Business Review regarding fertility preservation in the legal industry and how this is becoming more popular amongst women. The article discusses various accommodations law firms are making to help working mothers. Some big companies and law firms provide fertility preservation as a job benefit by paying a certain percentage of the cost to freeze eggs. The Daily Business Review article quoted me in part by saying:
Greenspoon Marder partner Marla Neufeld is a top practitioner in the field. She founded the law firm’s assisted reproductive technology practice and is the mother of twins born to a surrogate “It’s a big decision and commitment to do both, you know, have a career and have a family. I’m a mother, and I’m a practicing attorney. I’ve been practicing for 10 years, and it’s always challenging,” she said. Reproductive issues for professional women are “definitely becoming more and more a thing of our time,” Neufeld said. Advances in medical technology and expansion of employment benefits offer “a very liberating option” that wasn’t available 20 years ago, she said. “It’s wonderful. It just allows an element of freedom.” She’s been through infertility treatments and knows, for example, the success rate for pregnancy after embryo freezing is higher than egg freezing. She said the cost of egg retrieval can run $15,000 per cycle, and doctors often recommend two cyclesThe decision on whether a woman should freeze her eggs is an important question that should be discussed with a reproductive doctor to determine the viability of the process. There are also medical risks associated with egg freezing that a patient needs to be aware of. Freezing eggs will require a patient to sign various forms at the fertility clinic relating to the disposition of the frozen eggs in the event of the creator's death, change in life circumstances, etc. The decision will need to be made, for example, if the eggs should be destroyed, donated to a third party, or used for science under various changes in life circumstances. Another legal consideration with fertility preservation relates to the estate documents of the creator of the frozen eggs. It is important for an estate planning attorney to be aware of the frozen genetic material to ensure that any future children born from such frozen material are not excluded from the estate plan if ever used in an adoption or surrogacy type legal proceeding. Additionally, pursuant to Florida law, should a child be born posthumously after the genetic creator's death, the child will not inherit from the deceased parent unless such child was contemplated in the estate plan. To read the full article from the Daily Business Review, CLICK HERE.