Today we’d like to introduce you to Marla Neufeld.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Marla. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I am a partner in Greenspoon Marder’s Surrogacy practice group. I am the founder of the firm’s Assisted Reproductive Technology practice group and represent parties using a surrogate, egg, sperm or embryo donor.
I was under the impression 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 – my husband and I suffered through years of failed infertility treatments, disappointment, and expense. We attempted IUI (intrauterine insemination), IVF (in vitro fertilization), injected boxes of hormones, endured multiple miscarriages before ultimately having success with the use of a gestational surrogate to have our beautiful twin boys. While the journey was challenging, both emotionally and financially, looking back, I certainly have a few laughs along the way at the extremes we endured to build our family.
As you will see from my story below, after suffering from years of infertility and failed fertility treatments, I built my family now having twins boys with the help of a gestational surrogate. Following my personal experience with surrogacy, I changed my path in the legal profession and founded my law firm’s third-party assisted reproductive technology practice group to assist others in their legal needs in working with a surrogate, egg donor, sperm donor, or embryo donor.
Good luck, baby!
Being the Type-A personality that I am, despite the efforts of our fertility doctor, I made my own attempts at boosting my fertility that spanned various cultures, religious, and diets. I went through a phase of diagnosing myself with celiac disease and avoided all gluten based on a friend that has fertility success with eliminated gluten. Fast forward six months and gluten free was so two IVF cycles ago! After seeing an acupuncturist and digesting intolerable Chinese herbs, I attempted to avoid all cold food and beverages as eastern cultures believe that cold foods make an unpleasant environment for implantation of an embryo. Living in South Florida, I soon learned how challenging this effort was with the excruciating hot weather.
I carried around in my purse numerous fertility good luck charms from around the world spanning the globe from Africa, Japan, and China. I had a sage expert come to my house and smoke out our entire home with sage in an attempt to rid evil spirits. I participated in multiple mivkah baths, which is a religious cleansing bath in Judaism thought to be good luck to take a bath following a pregnant woman. I even experimented with the supernatural by going to a psychic and tarot card reader to see if there were children in our future. After my fertility doctor told me that certain creams can negatively impact my hormones, instead of schlepping in all of my beauty products to my next appointment, I made him a beautiful collage of my various products by placing all of the labels on a board so he could review the ingredients. I now have multiple bottles of label-less mystery bottles of creams and soaps at my house from this investigation.
It takes teamwork to make the dream work:
After numerous fertility treatments and multiple miscarriages, we reached a baby making crossroads and had to reassess our game plan. We had several frozen embryos remaining from a prior cycle.
Although my husband was thrilled, I was initially unsettled with the decision. My pregnant friends made comments like, “at least you won’t get fat or have morning sickness”. This was initially upsetting, yet I ultimately took their comments in stride.
Prior to my infertility experience, I practiced only transactional law. My infertility/surrogacy journey inspired me to branch out my practice to focus exclusively on surrogacy and reproductive technology law, awarding me the pleasure of helping others. I know it is a daunting prospect when considering surrogacy and I can now help others navigate through the legal system to understand the process and the legal implications.
I recently co-authored a book published by the American Bar Associated titled, “The ABA Guide to Assisted Reproduction: Techniques, Legal Issues, and Pathways to Success.” The book was published and marketed on a national level where I performed book signing events in New York, Chicago, and Miami with my book available online in retailers such as Target, Amazon and book stores across the Country. I have also been quoted in national media such as Today Parenting and Bloomberg Law News.
Most recently, my Surrogacy Practice Group was recognized by the Daily Business Review as an Innovative Practice Group for 2018. I was recognized as a Florida “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers magazine from 2012 through 2018. In 2014, I was recognized as a “Rising Star, 40 under 40” by the Daily Business Review and “Rising Star, Leaders in Law” by South Florida Business and Wealth. Additionally, in 2010, I was recognized as “Up and Comer” by Florida Trend magazine.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Greenspoon Marder story. Tell us more about the business.
Marla Neufeld is a partner in Greenspoon Marder’s Surrogacy practice group. She is the founder of the firm’s Assisted Reproductive Technology practice group and represents parties using a surrogate, egg, sperm or embryo donor.
She experienced her own infertility journey for over four years and ultimately used a gestational surrogate to build her own family. She co-authored a book published by the American Bar Associated title, “The ABA Guide to Assisted Reproduction: Techniques, Legal Issues, and Pathways to Success.”
Marla Neufeld’s Surrogacy Practice Group was recognized by the Daily Business Review as an Innovative Practice Group for 2018. Ms. Neufeld was recognized as a Florida “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers magazine from 2012 through 2018. In 2014, Mrs. Neufeld was recognized as a “Rising Star, 40 under 40” by the Daily Business Review and “Rising Star, Leaders in Law” by South Florida Business and Wealth. Additionally, in 2010, Mrs. Neufeld was recognized as “Up and Comer” by Florida Trend magazine.
Mrs. Neufeld is a member of the American Bar Association’s Assisted Reproductive Technology Committee. Also, she previously served as the Connect Co-Chair and Executive Board Member for Emerge Broward and was active with the Broward Center for Performing Arts.
Ms. Neufeld was recently named as an advisory board member of the non-profit, the International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination which helps provides educational resources and financial assistance to those going through assisted reproduction.
Marla Neufeld is active in guiding people going through infertility matters through the third party reproductive legal process. She presents on the topic for numerous organizations, support groups, and non-profits, notably, on January 14, 2017, she organized the event and presented as a panelist at the Alvin Sherman Library on Assisted Reproductive Technology and the legal issues involved (https://nsunews.nova.edu/panel-discussion-on-assisted-reproductive-technology-issues-and-pathways-to-success/). She also speaks as infertility support groups such as Resolve and various Jewish related infertility support groups.
I recently won the Nova Southeastern University Alumni Hall of Fame and the NSU University School Alumni Hall of fame for 2018.
Do you feel like there are certain traits that increase the likelihood of success?
My compassion and sensitivity to the challenges of infertility and family building and being able to weave it into my legal practice of third-party assisted reproduction.
- Website: www.marlaneufeld.com
- Phone: 954-761-2929
- Email: email@example.com