Home > Recipient Parent Sessions (Donor Conception)
Egg, Sperm, or Embryo Donation, Counseling for Intended Parents

When couples or individuals have explored various fertility options and are considering donor eggs, sperm, or embryos, they often face complex emotional challenges. I understand that this can be a confusing and difficult time, marked by the loss of a genetic connection and the unique dynamics of donor-conceived families.

As an experienced counselor, will help you navigate topics such as fertility grief, genetic concerns, your feelings toward your future child, and how to communicate this journey with family and friends. I also provide child-focused counseling to help you better understand the potential impact on your child.

Counseling for Intended Parents (IPs) is not a test you must pass before treatment but rather a supportive resource to address your concerns. Each session typically lasts approximately 1 hour, and I am happy to provide reports upon request to your clinic.

ASRM Topics for Intended Parent Egg, Sperm or Embryo Donation Counseling

  • Grief and loss: We'll discuss the emotional challenges and potential feelings of loss associated with using donated gametes to build a family.
  • Should we tell our child about his/her donor conception? I recommend telling your child about their donor conception from an early age.
  • What role will the donor have in our lives, if any?: Discussion about potential involvement or contact with the donor in the future.
  • Will I feel like my child isn't really mine?: Addressing concerns about parental identity and bonding with a child conceived through donation.

  • I am upset about not having a bio child. Is that ok?: Validation of emotions and support for coping with feelings of disappointment or grief.

  • Should we tell our family members about using a donor?: Consideration of family dynamics and potential benefits or challenges of sharing this information with relatives.

  • How do we deal with questions from others?: Strategies for handling inquiries from friends, family, or others about the donor conception.

  • What if this treatment doesn't work?: Discussion about coping with treatment failure and exploring alternative paths to parenthood.

  • Will my child be upset with me for choosing to conceive this way?: Addressing potential concerns about the child's feelings regarding their conception method.

  • What are our best options considering our finances?: Exploration of affordable options for assisted reproduction and financial planning.

  • Implications of long-term impact on the family: We'll explore how the decision to use gamete donation may affect family dynamics over time.
  • Needs of donor-conceived persons: Understanding the potential emotional and psychological needs of children conceived through donation is essential for informed decision-making.

  • Limitations of donor screening: We'll cover the scope and limitations of the screening process for donors, ensuring you have a clear understanding.

  • Desired qualities of the donor and its implications: Exploring preferences regarding donor characteristics and understanding the implications of these choices.

  • Challenges of anonymity because of direct-to-consumer DNA testing, technological advances, social media, and implications for donor-conceived families: Understanding the potential impact of modern technology and social media on donor anonymity and future family dynamics.

  • Future implications for the children of having persons who are linked through the same donor: Consideration of how children conceived with the same donor might interact and perceive their relationship in the future.

  • Future implications of receiving new medical information about the donor or another donor-conceived sibling: Discussion about how new medical information about the donor or other donor-conceived siblings may affect your family.

  • Impact of treatment failure, coping with treatment termination, and developing alternative plans for the future: Addressing the emotional challenges of treatment failure, coping strategies, and exploring alternative family-building options if needed.

Request your intended parent session
Need a session for your donor? Learn more about egg and sperm donor psych evaluations.

Using a known donor? Learn more about the process

A Note from Jana about Third Party Reproduction Counseling

"Third-party reproduction counseling is a vital step in the process, and many fertility doctors throughout the country refer their patients to me. Your doctor prepares you for the medical process, and I help you with your family’s psychological, emotional and social needs across the lifespan. Donor conception is a decision that impacts the rest of your life, and you will just scrape the surface in the doctor’s office. I have seen countless people in my office who are contemplating or preparing to use a donor and are searching for more information on this complex issue. I wrote and published, Three Makes Baby, as a guide for intended parents to emotionally prepare for the process. The second half of the book is dedicated to talking to your child at different stages of development." -Jana Rupnow

To get the most out of your intended parent appointment with Jana, you can do some prep work.

  1. Read Three Makes Baby
  2. Audio Book available on Google Play, Apple Books, Walmart/Kobo, Chirp
  3. Work through the companion Three Makes Baby Workbook with your spouse (if applicable).
  4. Listen to Three Make Baby Podcast episodes.
  5. Take the Fertiqol test online.
  6. Take the Enneagram test online.
  7. Sign up for parent workshops coming soon.

Request an appointment online
After you request an appointment, you will receive an email with instructions to secure your day and time. You must complete the steps in the email to secure your appointment time. For video consultations, consent paperwork and payment must be received in advance.

Listen to Three Makes Baby Podcast

Egg donor pregnancy
Intended parents are encouraged by their doctor and the ASRM to attend counseling prior to an egg or sperm donation procedure or before using a gestational carrier. Counseling for IPs includes the exploration of complex social issues and feelings that may be hard to voice. This counseling session is not intended to be a test you must pass prior to treatment but rather a place to discuss your concerns.

IP counseling is approx 1 hour and covers the topics recommended by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, (ASRM). A brief report for your physician or clinic is included in the fee. A narrative report will be an additional fee.

ASRM Topics for Intended Parent Egg Donation Counseling

  • What are our best options considering our finances?
  • Will my child be upset with me for choosing to conceive this way?
  • How do we choose a donor?
  • Should we tell our child about his/her donor conception?
  • Will I feel like my child isn't really mine?
  • How can I cope with the grief of not having a biological child?
  • Should we tell our family members about using a donor?
  • How do we deal with questions from others?
  • What if this treatment doesn't work?
  • What role will the donor have in our lives, if any?
ASRM Topics for Intended Parent Gestational Carriers (click for more)

Request an appointment or email [email protected].