According to a new report in The American Lawyer, busy lawyers are choosing to freeze their eggs while they focus on their careers. Elizabeth Brown, a 29-year-old associate at a New York law firm, says that she and her friends all plan to freeze their eggs within the next few years if they are still single. This will allow them to focus on what they love doing now while hopefully still having the option to start a family in the future.
“Knowing that you can freeze your eggs, it takes so much of the pressure off. I’d rather go home and have a glass of wine and watch Netflix.”
Tales like those of Ms. Brown and her lawyerly friends are no surprise to us. Our very own Meg M. Hopeman, M.D. has pointed out that many women are delaying child birth into their 30s and 40s. When combined with the fact that eggs become less viable with age, it makes sense that many women are choosing to freeze their eggs as a hedge against father time. Whether freezing eggs because you haven’t found the right partner, you’re focusing on your career, or you simply are not ready to have children, freezing your eggs is a way to maintain control over your own fertility choices.
Egg Freezing As An Employment Benefit
There are law firms around the country that are now offering egg freezing as part of employee benefit packages. This is occurring for a few reasons, including:
- With many law school graduates already in their late 20s, it can be difficult for them to focus on climbing the law firm ladder while also starting a family
- Competition for the best lawyers is fierce, and offering egg freezing or IVF coverage is a way to rise above the rest
Harvard Law Professor Glenn Cohen asks the question: “Would potential female associates welcome this option knowing that they can work hard early on and still reproduce, if they so desire, later on?” If Ms. Brown and her friends is representative of other female lawyers their age, the answer would appear to be a resounding “yes!”
However, this is not the only view on the implications of offering egg freezing as a benefit. Others would counter that “incentivizing female associates to get pregnant when it’s most convenient for the firm is kind of monstrous”and that offering egg freezing is more to benefit the firm than to empower their female associates.
It’s Your Choice
Whether your employer offers egg freezing or other fertility-related benefits, the bottom line doesn’t change: what you do with your eggs is your choice. The most important thing to do is make your decisions based on proven science and the options available to you. If you’re ready to explore egg freezing, we can help you get started.