Ellen is the founder and director of Fertility Counseling Center, Inc.  She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with more than 30 years of clinical experience working in the mental health field. Her specialization and focus in the field of assisted reproduction for the past 25+ years began with her own personal struggles with infertility.

Ellen has unparalleled compassion, knowledge, problem solving skills and experience interacting and collaborating with all who are involved in creating today’s families:

  • Gestational Carriers/Surrogates and their spouses and/or significant others
  • Intended Parents (including the LGBT community pursuing families by choice)
  • Egg Donors (Identified, Known or Anonymous)
  • Sperm Donors (Identified, Known or Anonymous)
  • LGBTQ individuals and couples seeking to have children
  • Involved Grandparents
  • Individuals/couples considering egg/sperm freezing for themselves
  • Fertility Clinics/Reproductive Endocrinologists & Staff
  • Third Party Assisted Reproduction Agencies (Egg Donor, Sperm Donor, Surrogate, Gestational Carrier, Embryo Donation)
  • Obstetrician/Gynecologists and Staff
  • Attorneys
  • Children Created with the Assistance of Medical Intervention

Ellen provides detailed and personalized Assessments, Evaluations, Consultations, and Ongoing Care for all who are involved in a fertility journey, focusing on each participant’s specific hopes, dreams and challenges. Her personal and professional experience and continuing professional training provide her with the knowledge to skillfully assess prospective egg donors and surrogates as well as the compassion and problem-solving skills to provide guidance to individuals pursuing fertility treatment.

Most clients see Ellen at her Costa Mesa, CA office. If they are not available to do so, arrangements are made for videoconference consultations, including both domestic and international clients.

Ellen continues her professional growth in the field of infertility through awareness of evidence-based research and her involvement as a professional in numerous organizations. As a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Mental Health Professional Group, Ellen participated on the Donor Recipient Family Task Force and the the Social Media Task Force. She was also instrumental in setting up the Professionally led Support Groups for Resolve of Orange County CA.


  • Pepperdine University, M.A. Clinical Psychology, 
  • Selected Member of Psi Chi (National Honor Society in Psychology)
  • Kenyon College, B.A., English Literature, with minor in Psychology and Drama


  • California Board of Behavioral Sciences Examiners, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist: #23079


  • California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
  • American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM)
  • ASRM Mental Health Professional Group (MHPG)
  • Fertile Hope
  • Pacific Coast Reproductive Society
  • Path2Parenthood
  • Resolve, The National Infertility Association
  • Southern California Reproductive Psychology Professional Group
  • The Society for Ethics in Egg Donation and Surrogacy


Jannelle Heard is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist who became involved with 3rd party reproduction as an agency affiliated gestational carrier.  Being a loving mother of two, she recognized she wanted to help others experience the joys of parenting.  As a gestational surrogate, she delivered a healthy baby girl in 2014. For her 2nd journey in 2016, she delivered a healthy baby boy and then in 2018, she delivered another healthy baby girl.   

Jannelle knows how to create special bonds with Intended Parents, be they heterosexual, single, members of the LGBTQ community or if they reside internationally.  She has witnessed the immense joys Intended Parents feel holding their miracle babies for the first time.

Jannelle’s affiliation with Fertility Counseling Center, Inc. allows her to continue her involvement in helping others become parents and in supporting all involved in the process.  As a licensed mental health professional with experience in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Jannelle is the perfect person to provide ongoing care and counseling to gestational carriers, carriers’ partners, and Intended Parents.   Located in the Central Valley of California, Jannelle utilizes in person consultations or Telehealth, when needed, to provide support services.


  • California State University Stanislaus, M.S. Counseling Psychology
  • California State University Stanislaus, B.A. Psychology with Human Development Concentration
  • Modesto Junior College, A.S. Child Development


  • California Board of Behavioral Sciences, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist:  #111441


  • California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
  • American Society for Reproductive Medicine, (ASRM)
  • ASRM Mental Health Professional Group (MHPG)


Marlene Cuevas is a bilingual (Spanish and English) licensed clinical social worker who is passionate about helping individuals and couples cope with the emotional challenges of trying to have children.  At Fertility Counseling Center, Inc., Marlene assists couples and individuals from all backgrounds work through the emotions they experience as they explore their options before, during and after medical treatment.  She also provides general counseling services.

Utilizing her professional training, Marlene works effectively with clients individually, as couples and in groups. Meeting with Marlene offers a safe place where diversity of emotions and experiences can be explored with compassion.

Throughout her career, Marlene has worked with children, teens, adults, and families. She has focused on many areas including emotional distress, eating disorders, sleep hygiene, autism, infertility, anxiety, depression, grief/loss, stress, crisis intervention, substance misuse, and health and wellness.


  • University of Southern California, Masters in Social Work
  • California State University Fullerton, BS in Human Services- Mental Health and Substance Abuse.


  • California Board of Behavioral Sciences, Licensed Clinical Social Worker:   # 88749


  • English
  • Spanish


  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
  • American Society For Reproductive Medicine, (ASRM)
  • ASRM Mental Health Professional Group (MHPG)
  • Pacific Coast Reproductive Society
  • RESOLVE -The National Infertility Association


Sasha Jackson is a Licensed Social Worker who is passionate about assisting individuals and couples in their fertility journey. This includes those who are providing 3rd party assistance to those in need.  As a first time mother, Sasha is familiar with the uncertainty, the emotional experience, and the long awaited happiness that comes with having a child. Her personal experience and clinical experience working with loss, trauma, change and new beginnings allows her to be an asset during this unique time.

As a support service provider, Sasha understands that unconditional support can help harness resiliency and add value to one’s personal journey. The journey to parenthood through assisted reproduction can be a time when this therapeutic support is most needed for Intended Parents and gestational surrogates. Her goal working with clients is to provide a supportive and healthy environment, which is essential to reducing stress.

Sasha Jackson has a Master of Social Work degree obtained from the University of Southern California. She is trained and experienced in diagnosing mental health disorders and providing psychotherapy for individuals, families, and couples. Sasha focuses on creating mental wellness for her clients. Her expertise in dialectical behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, trauma interventions, grief counseling and mindfulness enhances her ability to do so.


  • University of Southern California  Master of Social Work – Concentration: Mental Health
  • Mills College   Bachelor of Arts – Concentration: English


  • Board of Behavioral Sciences Licensed Clinical Social Work #96641


  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
  • American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM)