Question: How to tell family that you are a “spuncle”?

Shawn asks…

My trans friend has been working on getting pregnant for some time now and I recently agreed to be his sperm donor. This month looks promising and I want to tell my family. I want them to understand that, though I’m not the child’s parent, I won’t be absent from its life either. How do I share the good news without making them think they’re getting a new grandchild/nephew/niece/etc?

Please post your response in the comments below.

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Posted by on January 17th, 2010 at 01:00 pm

Category: questions 7 comments »

7 Responses to “Question: How to tell family that you are a “spuncle”?”

  1. raphael

    “hey, i recently helped out a very close friend by serving as the sperm donor for his newborn baby. although he (and his partner/s?) are the parents of that child, i’m going to be involved in its life in kind of an uncle-type role (or whatever). i wanted to let you know how excited i am that this kid’s come into the world. love you, hope you’re well, etc.”

    honestly, what you said in your post is what you want to come across with, isn’t it? as long as you clarify that your being the sperm donor is not analogous to your being the father – then no problem, eh? or if there is a problem, it’s their thing and not yours, because your intentions and ideas strike me as quite clear already.


  2. Sarah Dopp

    Agreeing with raphael (good language).

    There are a ton of variables here, though, and you know your family better than we do. How much exposure and education have they had around trans/queer culture? How involved and present are they in your relationships with your closest friends? How much experience do they have, as a family, with “going with the flow” and accepting everyone as they are, with love?

    If they’re generally inclined toward acceptance and love, the best approach is to explain it clearly (with the boundaries up front) in language that communicates to them that you trust them to take this the right way. They want to be reminded that you believe they can handle this. And then they will, just as you recommend they do.

    (but if they don’t take it the way you want them to right away, just step back and give them space… it takes us awhile to get used to new information, too, so give them their chance to process.)

    Good luck!


  3. Anonymous

    Just wanted to say, congratulations to your friend. What a big journey, for him to have a child. I hope you all have ways of enjoying in your own way the pleasure and the honor of what it means to bear a child, or to help others to do so.


  4. nick

    Same as anony said: I have no advice on this but just wanted to say congratulations. That’s great.


  5. jean c.

    one thing you might want to take into consideration (trans & donor questions aside) is that expecting parents-to-be don’t usually tell people – outside of their closest family & friends – that they’re expecting until something like the 3rd month along, because of the higher risk of miscarriage before that. so that’s something to think about as well, just to check with the parent(s) before you tell other people!


  6. ecm

    That’s awesome dude!
    Is he carrying the child, or is his female partner?
    Either way, I don’t think you need to include that he’s trans (unless he’s carrying the child) when telling them.

    I think you should take Raphael’s advice on the subject, sounds perfect.


  7. Bear

    Our spuncle’s folks has lots of questions, but the most present for them was: “what will, or can, our relationship to the child be?” They also wanted to know what our spuncle had done to protect himself legally/financially, what we’d discussed about familial arrangements (including religious), and he ended up showing them our document of intentions, which we’d written up when we got into the whole thing.

    Echoing an above comment, you might want to wait until there’s a viable pregnancy to have the convo. It may be easier with a concrete person to discuss.

    Last, I highly recommend – for you and your folks and the eventual parents of this kid, and probably also their parents – a book called And Baby Makes More, Brushwood Rose and Goldberg, eds. Let’s just say that after reading it we bought a case of them, and handed them out to everyone’s family members like candy. Great book.


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