We had the good fortune of connecting with Marla Neufeld and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marla, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I used to think that once you decide to start a family, you toss the birth control and give it the ‘old college try’. BAM! There you are in your cute maternity jeans, booking your family trip to Disney World. I was surely mistaken. The reality was that my husband and I suffered through years of failed infertility treatments, great disappointment and a lot of expense. We attempted IUI (Intrauterine Insemination), IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), which entailed injecting hormones, taking steroids, blood thinners, etc. and yet I still endured multiple miscarriages. Ultimately we had success with the use of a gestational surrogate who carried and gave birth to our beautiful twin boys. Backing up a bit, here is how we arrived at our plan of action. After numerous fertility treatments and multiple miscarriages, we reached a ‘baby making’ cross road and had to reassess our game plan. We had several frozen embryos remaining from a prior cycle. I could try IVF again by means of a FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer). As much as I wanted to be pregnant and carry our baby my chances of success were very slim; ultimately our doctor approved us for surrogacy. Prior to my infertility experience, I practiced transactional law at Greenspoon Marder, LLP a national full-service law firm with over 200 lawyers across the United States. Based upon my personal infertility/surrogacy journey, I was inspired to change my practice area to allow me to use my legal and personal experiences to help others to build their families with third party practices such as surrogacy, egg, sperm, and embryo donation and adoptions. I started attending numerous legal seminars on reproductive law and researched everything I could find in this area of law and created a business plan to present to the managing partners at the law firm. Greenspoon Marder fully supported me to create a surrogacy and reproductive law practice area at the firm. I am now a partner at Greenspoon Marder and chair the firm’s I jumped right in and attended numerous legal seminars on reproductive law; I researched everything I could find in this area and created a business plan to present to the managing partners at the law firm. Greenspoon Marder fully supported me in creating for the firm a surrogacy and reproductive law practice. I am now a partner at Greenspoon Marder and chair the Surrogacy and Reproductive division. Throughout this reproductive journey, my husband and I along with our supportive family and friends have grown closer; you truly learn the quality of a relationship when tested with a challenge. My experience directly shaped my career in inspiring me to practice reproductive technology law. I look forward to sharing my knowledge and helping others fulfill their dreams.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I personally worked with a wonderful surrogate to successfully build my family after experiencing many years of infertility and reproductive technology efforts. I am so honored to have the opportunity to take my personal experiences and incorporate it into my legal profession as a Florida third party reproductive attorney. I am always happy to share my personal experiences with my clients to help guide them on their own journey. In the darkest moments of my infertility journey, it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel as it was a very challenging and difficult stage of my life. I am really proud of how I took my personal experiences and shaped them into creating an entire practice group at Greenspoon Marder to now help others with their needs such as surrogacy, egg/sperm/embryo donation and adoption. I am excited about my ability to give back my time to the community to help within the third party reproductive arena. I donate my legal time to non-profits such as Men Having Babies which offers advocacy, education and discounted or free services to same sex couples looking to expand their family. I also perform numerous speaking engagements to educate others about reproductive law and have been honored by prestigious organizations such as the Burton Awards for legal articles I have written on this topic.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
In taking a tour of South Florida pre- and post-COVID, my itinerary would include all the awesome kid friendly spots. Since my children love a good science experiment, I would first take my guests to either the Philip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in Miami or the Museum of Discovery of Science in Fort Lauderdale. We may take an air boat ride out in the Everglades or check out some exciting animals at the Miami Zoo, Flamingo Gardens or the Palm Beach Zoo. Once the kids are home with the babysitter, I would plan an adults evening out like grabbing dinner at a hip Miami restaurant, such as one of my favorites, Boia De.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I know firsthand that surrogacy and fertility treatments are daunting and I can now help others navigate through the system to understand the process and the legal implications. I received unbelievable support from my family, friends, community and new surrogacy family to help make what seemed impossible become a reality. As my surrogate always said, “It takes teamwork to make the dream work”. Part of the team that I want to “Shoutout” to in helping me build my legal practice is Greenspoon Marder for supporting me in developing my practice area, my parents, Susan and Barry Somerstein for providing support and invaluable guidance in my personal reproductive journey and professional development, along with my loving husband, Jason Neufeld, and my miracle twin boys, Ethan and Asher
Other: www.marlaneufeld.com https://www.amazon.com/ABA-Consumer-Guide-Assisted-Reproduction/dp/1634250176