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My husband and I are expecting our first baby. We are very excited, and we are both the eldest of our families so this will be a first grand baby for both of our parents.

Now my husband is completely gender critical. This is partly because he has a late in life AGP brother who is married to a much younger woman. (Whom he started grooming online when she was underage) Who is the stereotype, nerdy, chronically online and probably porn addicted. His family was quickly gaslit into the trans bullshit, luckily my husband sees through that and we see that sibling very sparingly when the whole family gets together.

Now this sibling is planning on having a baby via surrogate. Neither of us want anything to do with the entire nightmare. I think it’s wrong and even straight up evil and I worry that the child will be outright abused. We do our best to not comment on it at all whenever the subject is brought up.

Now that we’ve announced we’re expecting, his mother is quick to say “Oh yay! Your baby will have a cousin and we’ll have to get together often.”

I haven’t said anything out right yet, but my husband and I are committed to sheltering our future child from the trans nonsense. We’re even discussing home schooling with like minded parents if public school continues to get inundated with gender woo.

I want to be sensitive, but also I don’t give a shit about this sibling and weep for their horribly disadvantaged baby. And I don’t want any of that nonsense around my kid.

When do I put my foot down. Or say anything at all?

My husband and I are expecting our first baby. We are very excited, and we are both the eldest of our families so this will be a first grand baby for both of our parents. Now my husband is completely gender critical. This is partly because he has a late in life AGP brother who is married to a much younger woman. (Whom he started grooming online when she was underage) Who is the stereotype, nerdy, chronically online and probably porn addicted. His family was quickly gaslit into the trans bullshit, luckily my husband sees through that and we see that sibling very sparingly when the whole family gets together. Now this sibling is planning on having a baby via surrogate. Neither of us want anything to do with the entire nightmare. I think it’s wrong and even straight up evil and I worry that the child will be outright abused. We do our best to not comment on it at all whenever the subject is brought up. Now that we’ve announced we’re expecting, his mother is quick to say “Oh yay! Your baby will have a cousin and we’ll have to get together often.” I haven’t said anything out right yet, but my husband and I are committed to sheltering our future child from the trans nonsense. We’re even discussing home schooling with like minded parents if public school continues to get inundated with gender woo. I want to be sensitive, but also I don’t give a shit about this sibling and weep for their horribly disadvantaged baby. And I don’t want any of that nonsense around my kid. When do I put my foot down. Or say anything at all?

114 comments

Your husband is the one that has to put down his foot and tell his mom that his family isn't going to be exposed to what his brother does. It has to come from your husband, if not all the negative feelings will be dumped on you, you'll be "the crazy woman he married and is controlling him". Let him deal with his family and make sure he tells them straight. Your mother in law will react very differently if it is her own son who sets the boundaries than if you do. If his mother asks you anything you say that you agree with your husband 100% and that's it.

I totally agree. Without telling me he’s already had a very frank discussion with her about his gender critical views and basically got her to admit she doesn’t think her AGP son is a woman. I was pretty shocked by that, but it definitely makes me hopeful she’ll be at least somewhat understanding when the next conversation comes.

Would you be willing to let the cousins hang out together at your house, under your supervision, away from the AGP? I totally understand if you wouldn't, but it just sucks that your kid will miss out on a cousin relationship just bc their uncle is gross.

I'm sorry you even have to deal with this nonsense

I would, but we live about 5.5 hours away driving. And the AGP never leaves home. So I doubt it would even happen that way anyways

It would be no different than a kid who grows up without cousins, no?

[–] Eava 57 points

I would bet money the reason he wants to use a surrogate is because he can't cope with the idea of his wife going through pregnancy and being the child's mother. That makes her more the mother than he will be. By having a stranger carry the baby, he feels like he will be on equal footing with his wife when it comes to claiming "motherhood". And if they use his sperm and a donor egg, the Wife has no biological connection to the child while he does.

He's totally going to divorce her and take that baby, isn't he.

[–] Eava 41 points

In every divorce case I've been involved with where children were conceived using donor eggs, even where the Wife carried the pregnancy, the husband has demanded full custody because "she's not the real mother". The only good aspect of this is all these men have had their asses handed to them by the judges.

I could absolutely see this happening. Or at least he’s doing it so she has no rights if she eventually smartens up and leaves

Ahhh, so then he'll abuse her and the baby. After all, if she leaves, she also leaves that baby. . .. . .

Wow, yes this is probably exactly it. Ugh the more I think about it, the more sinister it becomes. Well that tears it, my husband’s parents can come to us, I will not be bringing my baby down to them as that’s where the sibling also lives.

I will not be bringing my baby down to them as that’s where the sibling also lives.

Your brother in law and his wife live with his parents!? And they're paying for a surrogate!? Do they just expect his parents to raise the kid!?

This disgusts me. I hope this isn't true bc if so, the whole thing is nothing but a narcissistic power play

Honestly, I wouldn't say anything. I'd just plan your life and get together just as often as now (holidays? birthdays?). When there is a play-date suggestion, I'd just beg off. Oh, sounds great but we have plans. We're going to a party with friends. Oh, we have a local play-date. Oh, baby is tired and so am I.

They'll get the idea after awhile. If they push, tell them you have a full schedule and you'll get back to them when your schedule allows for a play-date.

Okay I like this. I really like his parents and don’t want to be blatantly dismissive. Thank you!

How close by do they live?

Luckily, we’re in the same state but about five hours drive apart, so it won’t be but a few times per year at most, but just being around the situation makes me so uncomfortable because it’s so morally wrong and I really hate being quiet about things I don’t agree with that could very well be hurting someone.

Not to mention it just kind of irked me that it was immediately brought up when we shared our news. They don’t even have a surrogate yet, it’s just been in the works for a while.

I think that's the best approach, but at the same time, maybe if they do end up having a child, you're going to be a safe harbor for that kid. You'll see how it goes.

My general tacit rule would be that I wouldn't let my own kid hang out with the adults in that family without me around, but I'd invite the other kid over.

I would like to be that, but I also don’t want to be more involved with any of them than I have to be. It’s such a double edged sword

For real. Don't set yourself on fire to keep anyone else warm. It's clear that your priority is the safety and wellbeing of your own child, and that's exactly what it should be. You can still call child protective services from the outside without being directly involved if you fear your nibling needs help or is in danger.

[–] Maplefields 9 points Edited

It’s terrible for that kid, but put your own kid first. That kid is going to parrot whatever beliefs were picked up at home. If your kid plays with them, they will parrot whatever they heard at home. Make-belief games is kids re-enacting whatever they see from adults. You will be dealing with explaining to your kid what they heard from the other kid (if you’re lucky enough to overhear it and intervene).

I get it. I guess you'll see how it goes. I don't see these weird trans-y couples lasting forever, to be honest. Like, it's already a good bet that he's insisting on a surrogate so his young wife he cultivated on the internet doesn't get to have the central role. Lots of red flags there. You might be a safe harbor to a kid being raised by the grandparents in the long run.

Different situation but I have a family member that is a drug addict and a good 60% of the family is in denial about this. You have got to be very careful because your kid may wind up exposed to this nonsense if you are letting them spend one-on-one time with, say MIL. Because she just might take that opportunity to have a play date with cousins "since you keep missing opportunities".

You'll have to explicitly tell anyone who may potentially be a caretaker or sitter for this child. "We are not comfortable with BIL and our child is not to be in his presence or his family's presence unless we are with them."

I explicitly stated this when my kids were born. "I do not trust this person, they are NEVER to be alone with or the sole responsible person in any situation my child will be in."

If MIL or anyone else is sympathetic, you have to treat them like a security threat.

Hopefully the surrogacy is all talk. For now that's all it is.

And congrats on your baby!

Wow this is such a good point, thank you! I am lucky that I can rely on my husband to be firm with them on this, because I do struggle with trying to make sure everyone is comfortable and being a people pleaser. I think it will change as my maternal instincts get stronger, but he’s already been vocal with me and our close friends who are also gender critical at least about the fact that if anything even close is brought up around our kid, they’re out of the picture.

And thank you so much!!

It can be an awkward conversation at first but I promise those who you can actually trust will respect your wishes. You’ll find out who you can’t pretty quickly. As teens when my big sisters and I (no brothers, and my mom heavily instilled in us to work together to keep each other safe where there were men around) would often talk about what it would be like having kids one day. We all agreed that despite how close we were, it was always ok to be cautious around any male family members.

Now all 3 of us have kids and a rule we all have and respect is to never drop the kids off if it’s just BIL at home. We all love and think the best of our husbands but love our kids even more to forget that it’s always a possibility. We would rather take every caution even if it causes offense, rather than regret it later. Our husbands are in support of indifferent, they understand completely why we do it and know we are t trying to personally offend them or their character.

So it can work. You just gotta be upfront with those who you already trust and know will be taking care of your child alone from time to time.

Wow, I really like this boundary y’all have created. I have to get serious about being firm in my convictions and my wants and needs concerning my child. Thank you for this story. It’s very encouraging.

100% this - this is why my Dad and step mom never have alone time with my baby! I don't trust them to keep my daughter safe from my brother.

I have a brother who, ever since I found out was pregnant with my child, I made 100% clear to all members of my family that he would no longer be welcome in my home and that we would never attend any event that he was present at going forward for the protection if my child, and that this was non negotiable and we would not accept any input or comments on this decision going forward.

Guess who the grandparents were more interested in spending time with? Their grandchildren.

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. Put your kid first 100% of the time and you will regret nothing in the long run.

Thank you for this. Ultimately I do think that’s what would happen with his parents too. At the end of the day I don’t give a shit who’s feelings I hurt in the name of protecting what’s mine.

I think I would give my honest opinion about surrogacy and say that it's nothing less than exploitation of women and human trafficking.

But yeah, I'm painfully honest and made a few enemies this way as well.

I have said this to my husband’s (biological) sister. She isn’t too keen on it either and just chooses not to get involved. But his mother, despite being a very sweet lady and very good to us and me, has fully drank the koolaid. I’m just not ready to cause conflict there right now.

How about just ignore the trans part and jump to the HUMAN TRAFFICKING part. Say you don't believe using women's bodies as breeders is okay and you don't believe in purchasing human beings. Look to NordicModelNow for more info.

Oh I’m very informed about my own position on surrogacy. I just don’t see how his mother won’t see that as an attack on her poor trans kid’s judgement

I’m a little confused why they are using a surrogate in the first place — technically they’re a male and a female?

[–] Tiramisuomi 19 points Edited

I'm assuming the TIM wants to play "mother" and doesn't want the invalidation of his female partner stealing the spotlight. Will possibly bring in the surrogate for a cringey LARPed home birth, handmaid's tale-style.

I am too. As some others have suggested I can see it as him wanting full control over the parental rights when the baby is handed over.

But that isn't how it works,I don't think. Both he and she will be the baby's legal parents. I don't think the TIM will be able to steal the baby away.

Well that’s a positive, but I think it’s also more so he wants to be seen as the mother and if she actually carried the child that would take away from his fantasy

It's only a matter of time until we see LARP home births take off, possibly offered by surrogacy agencies. A powerful TENS machine to simulate contractions, hysterical fake screaming, and a poor, poor woman who has to demean herself to make the day all about him and his "struggle".

If it was available, he'd be on it in a heartbeat. It's clear he won't let his partner steal the spotlight and that's why surrogacy is what he's going with.

It's probably not worth the drama to say anything. Unless you found a way to work in your ethical objection to surrogacy and use that as an excuse to have a problem with the whole thing... hmm.

Ugh I can absolutely see this.

I really don’t want to damage the relationship with my in laws right now as they are much closer to us physically than mine and will be a help during pregnancy and birth time.

Ugh what a mess. I am so glad I’ve brought it up here though because all these comments have been a massive help.

Avoid them like the plague? Just make lots of awkward excuses until they get the hint. Or tell them you are against surrogacy. Please alert social services if you ever think that child might be in danger :(

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