Blessence Maternity's 'Adoption is the new pregnant' tee touches a nerve with CBB Readers

04/16/2008 at 04:39 PM ET

Close_adoption1As adoption gains more exposure through celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Madonna, Meg Ryan, Sheryl Crow, Mary-Louise Parker these past few years, awareness and acceptance in mainstream America grows as does the availability of adoption-positive continues to grow as well.

We’ve previously written about Tiny Revolutionary’s Chosen Child tee for kids, but when we posted about Blessence Maternity‘s new Adoption is The New Pregnant tee for adoptive mothers, a nerve was touched. A number of CBB Readers let us and Blessence know that they were offended.

Comments from CBB Readers called the shirt’s designer "heartless bastards," and the shirt’s message "offensive" and "flip… clever though it tries to be, totally diminish[ing] the first mothers of children who are adopted."

Click Continue Reading to read more comments from CBB Readers plus a response from Blessence‘s owner/designer AND take our polls.

BlessenceadoptionteeCBB Reader Gina wrote,

‘Adoption is the newpregnancy’ sure does make it sound like there is only one woman in theequation, and it’s the one doing the adopting.

CBB Reader Gaia wrote,

Thisshirt is offensive on SO many levels.  You’re saying adoption is ‘eh,no biggie,’ you just sign some papers, and viola!  Insta-family!  Um,no.  That’s not the way it works.

CBB Reader Tish wrote,

Thedesigner of this shirt (and the retailers that sell them) arecollectively slapping pregnant and birthing women in the face….

CBB Reader Destiny, who placed her son for adoption six years ago, wrote,

Ican’t imagine who came up with this idea and why in gods name theythought it would be such a wonderful thing for adoptive mothers. I knowfor a fact that my son’s mother (his adoptive mother) would be just asoffended by this ridiculous shirt as I am.

Picture_3ShaeLyn Werner, of Blessence Maternity, has responded:

Thank you expressing your concerns. We respect your opinion, andwelcome any and all feedback. Since the tee made its debut, we havereceived only letters of thanks and support  from women of allcircumstance — those who have adopted, been adopted, or know someonewho is in the process of adopting a child in need.

The company’s founder is adopted and has adopted siblings. Theslogan is not meant to offend, it is merely a celebration of the joy ofwelcoming a child into one’s family, regardless of the biologicalorigin. The tee was created to honor adoptive mothers who are oftenoverlooked, simply because their "40 weeks," or more likely, years ofwaiting for their child to arrive aren’t on public display.

As you know, many women are unable to have babies "the naturalway," but adopt children and love them no less than had they come fromtheir own seed. That is the premise under which the slogan wasdeveloped – in the spirit of love and equality for ALL children, ALLmothers, and ALL families – biological or not.

This young mother of 7 (she’s 26) has a heart of gold, and her decisionto include a tee that supports adoptive mothers was based on her ownpersonal experience – and until this point, has received only lettersof thanks and support  from women of all circumstance — those who haveadopted, been adopted, or know someone who is in the process ofadopting a child in need. In fact, at several trade shows, people haveapproached ShaeLyn and thanked her for acknowledging adoption in hermaternity line – one woman was moved to tears (an adoptee herself).

ShaeLyn too is adopted and has adopted siblings. The slogan is merely acelebration of the joy of welcoming a child into one’s family,regardless of the biological origin. That is the premise under which“Adoption is the New Pregnant” was developed – in the spirit of loveand equality for ALL children, ALL mothers, and ALL families -biological or not.

What do you think of this shirt? (Please mention whether you are an adoptive parent or have placed a child for adoption.)

Take our polls!

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Showing 109 comments

SF on

I actually like this shirt. I am an adoptive mother but I am also a birth mother. I don’t find it offensive and I would wear it. I don’t think it’s offensive to the “first” mother either. One of my children’s birth mother’s didn’t care for her children. She would leave them home alone for days at a time (my daughter was under 6mos old at the time). I don’t care if a shirt like this offended someone like her as she didn’t care enough for her children and their well being.

This is just my humble opinion and I know every birth mother’s situation is different but I still don’t see how they could find this shirt offensive. I believe some people get upset over things that they never experienced in the first place.

chatty cricket on

you know, I missed the controversy the first time around, but I have to say when I saw this shirt I couldn’t imagine any of my friends (who are in the process of adopting OR who have adopted already) wearing it because the slogan makes adoption seem trendy. As though we’d only chose to adopt because it became the “cool” way to grow your family. I think it demeans adoption, making the (difficult) decision to adopt something akin to needing the diaper bag that Angeline Jolie carries, or the hot baby stroller du jour.

Adoption is a wonderful thing, and I applaud the thought behind the shirt and I think it’s wonderful to include an adoption tee in a maternity line, but the actual slogan is tricky.

CelebFan08 on

I think its silly for people to make a big fuss over this. Some people just like to nit pick. I am a mother of 2, whom actually had trouble concieving my 2nd child. We considered adoption until I did become pregnant again. I know adoption is becoming publicly more recongnized and I think its something to be proud of! I don’t think people should be complaining if you don’t like it you dont have to buy it so hush.

Lilybett on

I agree that what we wear has power to make us feel good/bad… but surely other people’s t-shirts shouldn’t have power over you.

Tracey on

I also missed the controversy the first time around but honestly don’t see the problem. I think it is a slogan t-shirt and if you want to wear it then great and if you don’t then don’t. No one is having their arms twisted here, it’s just a matter of opinion. I think sometimes we just get a little too excited about things….I mean, it’s just a t-shirt with a slogan that some will want to wear and others will not…

Sadie on

There’s nothing wrong with the shirt. I would wear it. It seems like people want to cause controversy over the smallest things.

Colleen on

As an adoptive mother, I think this tee is very offensive. This offends me as an adoptive mother, and I can definitely see why it would offend biological parents of adopted children. This shirt gives off 2 messages:
1) That adoption is a trend, or is done to be trendy
2) That adoptive mothers didn’t do something tremendous for their children who were later adopted.
A better would tee would be “Adoption- a Paper Pregnancy”! As adoptive parents, we often spend much longer than 40 weeks feeling out paperwork and dealing with administrative issues and costs. This too is emotionally and sometimes physically taxing, but in different ways than a pregnancy.

LaurenH on

oh my gosh… people seem to find offence in everything… I also missed the controversy the first time around, and I’m not sorry…
I LOVE the tee. How many slogan t-shirts are out there for pregnant ladies who are so blissfully happy to be pregnant? HOW MANY?! Why can’t mothers who become mothers through adoption share their joy in the same way? How it could offend anyone I don’t know..
Adoption is a wonderful thing, people are giving children a loving home…
I’m sure the birth mothers would understand the sort of happpiness adopive mothers would feel.
I don’t understand how judgemental the world is, as long as you don’t argue with the ‘mid 20’s and over, married and pregnant’ theory, everyone is happy…
The world isn’t black and white, not everyone is luck enough to get a child through pregnancy. Why should they not be aloud to be open and happy about it?!
The company was doing in my opinion an extremely thoughtful thing. It’s a shame not everyonee can see what they were trying to do.

Jenn on

That is very offensive. It makes it seem that Adoption is a “Fad”. Like a pet rock, something that is not permanent.

Well, let me just say that Adoption for MANY, is the only option. It is not a fad and it is not the new pregnancy.

Pregnancy usually takes a mere 9 months.
But for my husband and I it took two years, tens of thousands of dollars and a ton of paperwork to bring our little girl home from China. Let alone the 20 years of pain I experienced before the doctors realized what the problem was. So at 33 I went into Menopause, with a complete and total hysterectomy.

(You can watch “our story” on Discovery Health Channel’s Mystery Diagnosis to see our beautiful girl who was born in my heart not under it)

Adoption is not the New Pregnant.

Many people see celebrities adopt and think “hey, I want to be like them”
Adoption is making a Forever Family.

emily on

Sadie, I totally agree! Especially whoever said that it is a slap in the face to the birth mothers of adopted children–WHAT?! How someone could come up with that conclusion is beyond me. I don’t think the problem here is the Tee Shirt…I think its those who get offended by a drop of a hat!

Jennifer* on

When I looked at this shirt I didnt find it offensive, because I thought it was a bit of support for women who can’t physically have children and so have become mothers who adopt.

Whats the problem? Seriously? If a child is given a happy home and an adoptive parent is proud of that then let them have the tshirt.

On that note though, it is only a tshirt- if you dont like it then dont buy it.

Stef on

I don’t find it offensive. I read it as saying that due to so many celebs openly adopting children, there is no longer the stigma on adopting or being adopted that there used to be…as if the kid wasn’t a legit family member or as if there was something artificial about the parent/child relationship. It’s a very old school mindset, but it was there and still is in many respects.

To me, the shirt says that adoption is a new TYPE of pregnancy, in that adopting a child is as meaningful, poignant, and real as having your own child natural. I think it means to take the shame off of women who adopt for any reason–unable to have a child, want to help orphans, don’t want to be pregnant, etc. And considering the number of comments I’ve seen on this site in criticism of women who don’t have vaginal births or don’t breastfeed, I can see how a mother who adopts may feel like an outsider to those who go about motherhood the traditional way.

M on

what i personally hate about it is that it seems to me like it is saying adoption is somehow a fad (and pregnancy,too,for that matter!!) it gets a huge no vote from me.

dickie on

A slap in the face to the birth mother??? The only problem I gather from that statement is that the woman who gave birth should somehow be exalted over the woman who is actually raising the child! I find that the most offensive of all. It takes 9 months to give birth, but it can take years to adopt. I love the slogan adoption is the new pregnancy. For too long adoption was seen as something to be hidden (parents didnt tell their children they were adopted!! crazy!!) and pregnancy the only way we could openly celebrate the creation of a family. Well that is not the case anymore. Now we celebrate adoption as something just as miraculous and beautiful as pregnancy and I for one am just thrilled. Ignore the critics. Thank you Blessence for giving us adoptive-moms-to-be something to wear while we wait for our little ones to join us!

Lizzy on

I like the idea for this shirt and the premise of it, but I think that they used the wrong words to convey their message. “Adoptiong is the new pregnancy” implies that not only is adoption something like a fad, but pregnancy is too. Just something to do for some fun and I think it was really bad thinking on their part. I was adopted because my (adopted) parents couldn’t have children so I really appreciate what they were trying to do, but I think rewording it would have been wise.

Ellen on

I too missed this the first time. I’m very interested in adoption and have been researching a long time…not b/c I can’t have children, but b/c of personal beliefs otherwise. I love a t-shirt that celebrates adoption. I also love Colleen’s suggestion of the “paper pregnancy” t-shirt. I don’t find this shirt offensive. It does put off the “trendy” vibe, but I don’t really find it a big deal. And for those that are saying it’s dismissive of the birth mother….I think you are reading into things. It says nothing about the birth mother. It implies nothing, IMO, about the birth mother, her abilities, lack of, her resources or lack of or anything having to do with her choices. It says more about the beliefs of the person adopting.

Lizzy on

I posted just a minute ago but I forgot to make note that it was also not the best choosing of words because of what it implies about the birth mom, that she isn’t a part of the picture and trying to “erase” her out of the picture.

I don’t find a HUGE problem with the shirt to cause anything monumental, but I think that they should have sat down and thought about what wording to use exactly.

Renee on

I agree, I don’t see anything offensive about it. Don’t like the shirt, don’t buy it but the woman behind it didn’t mean no harm or was trying to say adoption was a trend.I think some people are over analyzing this shirt way too much. I have seen way more offensive t-shirts than this.

Amy Miller on

I think this t-shirt is fabulous and I’m having a hard time understanding the negative response – what decade are we living in here??? There are so many people who want children and can’t have them – infertile couples, gay couples, single parents – you name it – and I agree with the idea that this tee celebrates adoptive parents all the way around! I have two kids – my youngest was adopted after we found out after the birth of my daughter that we wouldn’t be able to have another child naturally – and let me tell you, I got no where near as much “public” support during the adoption process (a two year ordeal, mind you) than I did when I sported my baby bump. Had the shirt been out then, I would’ve worn it with pride. Kudos to Blessence Maternity for acknowledging that adoptive moms with this shirt!

Mia on

Hi! Im neither a birth mom nor an adoptive mom, so I dont have much say in this. But I would like to take the chance to say that when adoptive moms are mentioned Mia Farrow is always left out. I love this site, I really do, but it would be so great if once in a while you reported on Mia, lets remember she has 15 kids, 4 birth sons and 11 adoptive sons and daughters. If someone should be mentioned to be an adoptive mom its her


LaurenH on

I don’t understand how this t-shirt is conveying that adoption is a fad? It is saying ADOPTION is the new PREGNANT…
There is absolutley nothing in that sentence that suggests it is a fad, unless that is how you consider pregnancy, which I don’t…
How can you take something so meaningful to so many adoptive parents and ruin it for them, and if you have adopted, are you not proud of the fact, or do you not understand in the slightest what this t-shirt could mean to so many women.
This is essentially giving adoptive mothers some sort of the same joyous experience that pregnant women get…
The only way you would see this t-shirt as offensive is if you yourself believe adoption is a fad or pregnancy… that would be your own perception.
This t-shirt isn’t about popular culture, it’s about personal joy for the adopive mother that wants to get some sort of outlet for their joy from adopting…
I again applaud the makers. They know what they were doing it for, and it was all the right reasons. But trust society to be close minded and ruin it for them and the people who love the message.

Jen on

Yeah, not so much on this slogan.

I think there is too much being thought about on this slogan. I looked at that site and it’s full of silly slogans and such. I’m not taking “Adoption is the new pregnant” as anything heartfelt after seeing the other types of slogans there.

Allie on

I don’t see how this shirt makes adoption seem like a fad, at all. People who adopt children DO go through a long process, they DO know what’s in store for them. They DO KNOW it’s a lifetime job. They are evaluated by trained professionals who aren’t just going to give any Tom, Dick, and Harry a baby just because they WANT one or because, “it’s the new thing to do.” I think it’s sends a nice message to a community that was once upon a time in a hush-hush thing. It shows a message of love, in my opinion.

Erin Schwartz on

What I like about this tee is that FINALLY, adoption is recognized and celebrated. It takes a self-less soul to open their homes to a child born by another and love them unconditionally. And mind you, putting a child up for adoption is a CHOICE. Once you give up your baby, you don’t get to make the rules anymore. To condemn anyone who actually loves and raises an otherwise unwanted child for wearing a t-shirt that honors an action that brings them joy is unwarranted and unfair. The idea behind the tee is great – adoptive moms SHOULD be celebrated and be able to SHOW too.

Abbey on

I definately find it more empowering than offensive (as per the poll above). I do agree with other posters that, while the shirt itself is not offensive (at least, to me), it does make it seem like adoption is a “trendy” thing. However, I do think more people need to consider adoption and I think shirts like this may raise awareness and, possibly, make people consider adoption over fertility treatments or even having a biological child.

I just want to say, though, I’ve wanted to be a mom forever (it’s not for everyone, i know) and I never ever considered having a biological child. I have always wanted to adopt. The fact that this shirt is quite controversial really makes me happy – however you view it – because it’s making people more aware of adoption and, maybe, even more aware of the millions of children waiting for families across the globe. Discussion and personal stories are the best ways to make people more conscious that adoption isn’t a fad and it should be considered even if you can have biological children.

Yeah, controversy!

sigh on

Does the adopted child get a vote?

I was adopted as an infant, and I think the shirt is just fine. I don’t see anything offensive about it. People need to lighten up, really.

Elizabeth on

I agree with the people who are offended by this t-shirt. The faddish slogan not only makes light of adoption, but also pregnancy. What is this implying, that there will be a next fad when the human race is done with adoption? What will that one say- “Pods are the new adoption”?
I think adoptive mothers deserve a t-shirt, they deserve a chance to celebrate their journey. I just wish this wasn’t such an obnoxious slogan. Maybe this controversy will spur a different company to create a phrase that is better worded.

Ericka on

I quite like this shirt …I don’t find it offensive. I think it gives women who can’t get pregnant a good feeling or even someone who chooses to adopt. I’d much rather see this shirt than the abortion shirt or the rape shirt. What wrong could it cause?…If it brings attention to adoption or the possibility of adoption then I think thats great. There are too many children in this world that need families and homes. I don’t think it’s being frawdedaw about adoption it’s just a happy shirt about the choice.

Erin Schwartz on

Cheers to “sigh”! If she, as an adoptee, doesn’t find it offensive, well then isn’t it time for everyone else to lighten up?

kristen on

i can see why people feel offended by the shirt’s implication that adoption is just a trend, as the slogan is an obvious play on the fashion magazine statement:
“_________ is the new black.”

and right now, it might feel like celebrity adoption (as well as celebrity pregnancy) is a new trend. but as danielle (CBB founder) has pointed out in interviews, celebrities have ALWAYS had kids, we just haven’t always been so transfixed by this aspect of their lives. to expand on that idea, celebrities have ALWAYS adopted (nat king cole, bette davis, bob hope, burt reynolds, donna reed, george burns, harpo marx, harry belafonte, henry fonda, jane fonda, isabella rossellini, julie andrews, magic johnson, marie osmond, ronald reagan, ted danson, valerie harper, sammy davis, jr., the list goes on and on).

that being said, i don’t personally find the shirt offensive. why shouldn’t adoptive moms have a little fun taking credit for the fact that they’re also building their family in a legitimate way? plenty of maternity shirts seem to imply (in good fun) that pregnancy is the be-all/end-all/”world’s most important work.” those of us who have families built through adoption don’t get bent out of shape over those shirts. why should folks get bent out of shape over adoptive parents having a shirt along the same lines?

Anon. on

I’m not offended by this tee, but I could see where it might have connotations offensive to those who have adopted/wish to adopt or have given their children up for adoption. I think the mere phrasing of it– “[blank] is the new [blank]”– inherently hints at adoption being a fad. I also understand why people might think it minimalizes the importance of pregnancy to adoption.

Nevertheless, I’m truly glad that adoption is being embraced. It’s clear that this shirt was made to celebrate that, so while I understand why it might be contentious, people really ought to keep the heart of the message in mind.

MsFeasance on

How is this any more offensive than a t-shirt celebrating pregnancy as “stylish” and “sexy”?

magicpointeshoe on

I wouldn’t expect those who haven’t walked in my shoes to understand why the shirt is offensive to mothers like me, or why many of the comments posted here are also just as offensive. An unplanned pregnancy for me was one of the most difficult times I lived through. To have my entire world condemn me but at the same time convince me of how wonderful of a person I would be to relinquish my child for adoption… there is a lot of hurtful thoughts given towards mothers who have walked the same path as I.

Is it fair that potential adoptive mothers aren’t paid the same amount of attention as expectant mothers who are in better circumstances than women who are in crisis pregnancy? Not really. I’m sure it sucks beans.

But to claim that pregnancy, birth and relinquishment of what mothers like me went through take away from their attention. Well, pfffft. If ever there was an invisible person who should not be discussed… that would be mothers who have walked my path.

I don’t want a pedestal. I don’t want a medal. But I do want just a little bit of respect given and not dismissed because I chose what I had to choose.

Trace on

I missed the controversy the first time around. I think this is being much too over analyzed. As someone who gave up a child for adoption… I like the shirt. It is nice to see it proudly displayed that though they did not carry their child themselves they celebrate it and are proud of it. Proud of the process that made or is making them a family. I find the shirt light hearted and it made me smile.

flem on

I think it’s more offensive to always be called an adopted child. I am one and hated it when someone called me out as adopted. I was just one child of many and that label further excluded me and made me feel different from my naturally-born siblings. Who cares how you get to your family. No one introduces a child as, “this is my vaginally delivered baby.” I just wanted a family and to be included. This shirt isn’t offensive – adoption should be encouraged and celebrated – there are so, so many kids who simply want a family to love them. If a shirt helps even a bit, great.

BlueEyes on

I was adopted as an infant by my 16 year old biological parents. I find this shirt in no way to be offensive. I wouldn’t be hurt or upset if my adoptive mom wore it. I would even consider buying it for her, if she actually wore t-shirts.

Adoption is beautiful! If it wasn’t for adoption, I never would have had this wonderful life my biological parent’s gave me a chance to have. If I had the means to do so, I would love to meet them and thank them for my life.


That’s bull shit. It is NOT in the least bit offensive. It SHOULD be empowering towards adoptive parents because it says that, “Hey, we can’t have kids so we’re adopting” and of course it sounds like it screams out, “THIS IS THE NEW TREND!” when really, the creator(s) of the shirt are pointing out that adoption is just as normal as bearing your own child through natural pregnancy. This t-shirt allows society to see opportunity in adoption and creating a better life for orphans or children who could not receive that “better” life with their biological parents. If biological parents are not fit enough to raise a child, then the people who are WILL adopt and raise the child and will proudly wear that t-shirt and say, “Hey, I couldn’t have my own children but I’m parenting one just as my own and this child is just as much a part of my family as yours is”. This t-shirt may violate the norms of society but hey, times are changing so get over it.

Natalie on

how does this shirt make adoption any more trendy than giving birth? Are all those maternity shirts that sport “cute messages” not offensive to all these people who are freaking out the adoption t-shirt? Let’s face it, having kids has become trendy in itself. Push gifts, designer strollers, custom nurseries–it’s all trendy! I seriously do not see what is so offensive about this shirt. So some women choose to adopt–does that mean they can’t get a shirt with dumb message on it? Only people who actually physically carry a baby get to wear clothing that says “9 months” or “I’ve got the golden ticket” or “I’m so ready to pop” etc.? And how does this shirt slap the biological mother in the face? She’s giving someone the gift of life, but no, don’t wear that offensive shirt around her! Only the birth mothers get the shirt!!!!

Erica on

I can understand how the shirt would strike a nerve with people b/c it does imply that adoption=trendy. But I’m not personally offended by it, I think it’d be cute to see an expectant adoptive mother rocking this.🙂

Sadie on

I understand that adoption is a long process but don’t complain about it. “i spent long hours doing paperwork, and thousands of dollars and waited two years” Blessence Maternity T-shirt is not the problem. You need to understand that what could be offensive to one person, is completely fine with another. How many tshirt companies out there have crazy slogans? I honestly don’t think the creator meant for it to be offensive. If you don’t like it,move on. If you like it, you’ll support it.

Jessica on

While I’m not a mom yet, and I’m not crazy about the slogan itself, I totally support the IDEA the slogan brings about, which to me is that adopting a child makes a woman no less of a mother. I have such respect for mothers, whether they are birth mothers or adopted mothers.

I personally wouldn’t by the shirt, but the idea of motherhood being important regardless is what I support here.

Stef on

I am offended, however, that the t-shirt is ******$36******!!!

Abbey on

Hahaha, Stef!

I can make one and about 12 others on the PC for that price.

Nicole C on

I think people on this board are confusing two very different ideas:

1. The idea of a pro-adoption message shirt.


2. The message on THIS pro-adoption shirt.

I don’t think anyone on this blog is knocking adoption. I think everyone supports idea #1. It is beautiful and special and should be celebrated.

However, THIS shirt is very clumsy (idea #2). It uses the “pink is the new black” type of fashion lingo, which describes trends, to make adoption sound trendy.

Personally, I don’t like the shirt because it makes it seem like adoption and pregnancy are at odds with each other. Almost “adoption vs. pregnancy.” Many families have children from both avenues (Jolie/Pitt household, Mary Louise Parker, etc.). Until they perfect cloning or test tube babies, we were all born from some woman! So you can’t ever eliminate pregnancy from the equation.

I am all for pro-adoption shirts with cute messages. I just think this one is not that cute and not that clever. I also think it causes unnecessary controversy—-when it should just be spreading a message of love!!!

Renee on

Stef,that price isn’t unsually for t-shirts with a statements on them.Also, it’s cheaper than some kids clothes I see in some stores LOL

C-ann on

Cmon people it’s meant to be funny. Do any of you in your right mind think someone would try to say adoption is trendy or no big deal? Please.

Principesa on

The shirt isn’t offensive to me. I have pretty thick skin and a great sense of humor. That said, I find the shirt in poor taste.

My personality is such that I don’t feel compelled to convey my thoughts on a t-shirt. That’s why I vote, why I write to my elected officials, write to the editor of the NY Times. Pregnant or not, I find the trend of these types of shirts so overdone and so 20+ years ago (WHAM anyone??!)

The adoption of our child wasn’t in any way a need for me and my significant other to be trendy. I resent that anyone with any shard of intelligence would ever assume much less say so. Simply put, such thinking is ignorance at its worse. The process of adoption isn’t easy and certainly isn’t for wusses.

Infertility robbed us of the chance to have a biological child. However, the circumstances also provided us the chance to look inside ourselves to realize what our true goal really was: to be parents. From there it was a sensible conclusion to pursue adoption.

As a parent, these are things I wish for people to say/think about how our family grew:

Please don’t say we are special to give a home to a child. It doesn’t work that way at all. We are selfish: we just want to be parents.

Please don’t use the term “give up for adoption”. We strive to use positive adoption language and hence, prefer to say “our child was placed for adoption”.

Don’t describe my child’s adoption as an adjective (as in ‘adopted child’). Nothing raises my hackles more than that!

Adoption is a verb, not an adjective.

Principesa on

I also want to give a big shout out to birthmothers…

Because without their act of selfless love by making an adoption plan, women like me wouldn’t be moms.

Here’s a big kiss and hug from me!!

mary on

Just think about it, Perhaps to some of the adoptive parents it has a deeper meaning to them. If a tee has the word f***,s***,or even damn yes that is offensive. A 3 year old that has the word juicy on its butt is disgusting. but a tee that says ‘adoption the new pregnant’ I dont get where that can or could be offensive. I quess to each his own!!!
But then again my best friend had tees made up for my children ages at the time 13 years, 11, 4 1/2 and a newborn “YES WE ALL HAVE THE SAME DADDY!” And many people commented on them. they did not like it:( My husband did not like it. But I thought it was funny. And off the subject a bit my 13 year old is now 15 years old she is very well built but very small every where eles. She is begging my girlfriend to make her a tee that has an arrow pointing up along with the saying my eyes are up here. (I said no). So tees nowadays are the billboards of mass merchandising.

Hea on

I’ve heard reports that the “trend” of adopting children has increased the number of orphans in some countries, I think it was African countries mainly after Madonna and the rest adopted there. I do not think adoption is wrong, never, every child in this world deserves a loving home and a safe environment. I do however dislike this trend-factor it has become. I think that shirt is completely idiotic.

fuzibunni on

goes to show how sensitive a subject adoption is.

it’s good for people to talk about it though, so in that regard, the t-shirt is a success.

Stephanie on

I am a a new adoptive mother and I like the shirt. I think is a way of expressing how proud I am to be an adoptive mom and how proud I am of my son. I agree with others in that people need to lighten up. Geez,it’s just a t-shirt! But, I’d buy it if it weren’t $36!

Starlet on

I think it supports the stereotypes against adoption – that it’s a whim, a trend, a publicity stunt. I won’t be supporting this company anymore. Even in their response saying people can’t have children the “natural way” is bad adoption language as it makes it seem like adoption is unnatural.
With the statement this week by Suzanne Shaw about adoption being a publicity stunt, t-shirts like this fuel this ignorance!!!

Mandy on

You know what, all this controversy is trivial. Remember Eleanor Roosevelt’s words, “No one can offend you without your permission.” If you are offended by this shirt, you chose to be. I am not offended because I made that choice. Now, I believe this is wonderful. With all the abortion going on, I think it’s a bright light shining on the prospects of putting these babies up for adoption to loving and caring households instead of sucking them out of the woman’s body. How offended would we all be if the shirts started touting abortion?

Let’s see this as a positive thing, which I believe it is.

js on

I’m in the boat of having missed the controversy the first time around. But I was just scrolling through the site tonight and saw the photo of the shirt and immediately thought, “ohmigod, I must have that shirt!”

I am adopted. I also fully intend to adopt in the future. Infact, I’m pretty passionate about adoption in general. As a single woman, I see no reason and feel no need to give birth to a child of my own when there are so many beautiful children already on the planet who need a family. Perhaps if I were to get married one day, I may want to create a life with my husband. (I’d still also adopt, of course) But I digress. Back to the shirt factor – I think its great. I find I’m constantly rolling my eyes at what some people here find offensive.

IQAmsterdam on

T-shirt? This to me reduces the complexity of adoption (for all parties) to a comodified t-shirt slogan. Adoption is not the “new” anything…it involves the gutwrenching decision by one woman to give up a child and the strength and courage of both birth and adoptive mother to raise a child in a way that is deemed best.
Heartbreak, joy, guilt, anger, happiness…is not a t-shirt slogan. on

I guess I don’t understand why pregnancy has to be mentioned in a pro-adoption shirt…like adoption isn’t good enough on it’s own it needs to be compared to something…and something that it’s not. Adoption is great on it’s own…has it’s own benefits and pros and beauty and blessings. And pregnancy has it’s own set of blessings and beauty.

None of the maternity clothes on the market today compare pregnancy to adoption…and I think more would be up in arms if they did. So why does a pro-adoption shirt need to mention pregnancy? Why compare or take the chance of offending others?

Just be thankful for your little miracle no matter what made you a family.

Melissa on

As an adoptive mother, I do find this shirt to be offensive. I agree with others that it is treating adoption as a trendy alternative to pregnancy – when for most people that is not the case. Why does adoption have to be compared to pregnancy at all?
I am willing to bet that those who are dismissing the critics of this shirt as over sensitive have never experienced the pain of infertility and pregnancy loss.

Leanna on

Ugh, I find it extremely offensive. Adoption is great in itself, but it is not the ‘new pregnancy’
The two things are very separate and this T-Shirt makes me feel like adoption is being ‘sold’ as some next big thing… that can replace pregnancy in some way.

MoMmY_to_CrAvEn_&_mALaChI on

All my life I new that I wanted to be an adoptive parent; I loved the idea for giving a child s home that didn’t have one, but being a teenager, I was stupid, well not stupid but irresponsible and was pregnant at sixteen. I thought that sex was the most grown up decision that I would ever make but the day that I signed the papers for MY biological son to become some other woman’s baby was the day that I grew up, and it sucked big time. At twenty-one, when I met the man that I knew I would be with forever, I was honest about everything. We had twin boys in October, the feeling was completely different knowing that these babies were mine, but I did spend a lot of time thinking about the boy that would have just turned 8, and wanting to know what he was up to, did he look like me or did he look like his dad. Was he into the things that I was into, or was he someone completely different. And the moment that I held the twins I knew that I would adopt my next child. We’ve spoke to our lawyer, and have started all the paper work for an international adoption. My sister who is married with five kids of her own is the one that was telling me about the shirt, she loved them and thought that I would as well, and as a mom that has given up a child, given birth, and is in the process of adopting. I love the shirt, and I would proudly wear the shirt.

landroverdisco on

Don’t care for the shirt, don’t purchase it. Everything on this site has turned into a cause celebre…whether with breastfeeding, formula, pacifiers, weight loss, etc.. It’s like a Hen House gone mad.

andrea on

I also am not a fan of the shirt…while I don’t find it to be in poor/abominable taste, i do think it’s just a dumb shirt.

It paints adoption (along with pregnancy) as just being fads. Parenthood is much more than a passing fancy- one that people take with a great deal of thought, not because it’s currently in vogue.

I appreciate the company’s attempt to create a product that celebrates an overlooked demographic…i just think this one needs to go back to the drawing board. Surely someone who picked up a degree in marketing, etc can come up with a slogan better than this one. *eyeroll*

Also, for the record, I am a birth mother, having released a child for adoption in ’99.

brannon on

Wow. I really don’t get this one? I think it’s adorable? There are tons of “pregnancy” t-shirts…Why not one for adoptive mothers as well? Adoption is no more trnedy than pregnancy and even if looked at that way…isn’t that a good thing? Shed light ….

There are issues I am touchy about as well so I reserve judgement but I PERSONALLY just can’t figure this one out?

Renee on

Brannon, I agree.The U.S is going through a pregnancy boom it seems right now and there are so many cute maternity shirts. I see so many families that have a mixture of biological and adopted children, especially in bigger cities.If you don’t like this particular adoption message on this shirt, send them some ideas. I’m thinking they would be open to suggestions.

Sheba on

I think this shirt is great and the first time I saw it in a magazine, I decided to buy it for my sister-in-law who will adopt a child. Adoption a trend. Please. Adoption is serious business and not for the flighty or faint at heart. And adoption agencies are pretty good at weeding out the self-absorbed wack jobs. I see a trend as something easy that everyone can do. Adoption ain’t never been easy nor can everyone do it. One T-shirt, heck even 200 T-shirts with slogans about adoption will not turn adoption into a trend. It’s just not the way the world of adoption works. People need to look at the blatant facts about adoption before tossing out the work trend.

JMom on

I don’t find the slogan offensive, but I do find it silly. Adoption is not the same as pregnancy, and pregnancy is not the same as adoption. They are both to be celebrated for what they are…different ways of building a family. While I can see the good intentions behind it, I think a better choice of words could have been made.

Natalie S. on

It’s all in each individuals perception. Personally really this is an issue for anyone to take offense too? If so then that’s your deal. I just think there’s more important things to be concerned about. Anyone who thinks “adoption” is a fad, really has no business adopting children. Not to mention the adoption process is grueling as it is. For those women who can’t bare children naturally and adoption is they’re only resource I could see them wearing the shirt with pride.

Robyn on

As an adoptive parent, I think that this shirt is completely inappropriate. I could care less how I feel. My only concern is for my adopted children and how they feel. Having someone think that anything about the way they came to be part of our family is ‘trendy’ is terribly insensitive.

Adoptive parent of 2 girls
25 US and 5 Vietnam

Lisa Sainsbury on

This T shirt slogan is OH SO WRONG as well as silly.
Really, what’s the point?

Not only does it diminish and trivialize pregnancy, but it also conveys the idea that there’s something to be ashamed of about becoming a parent through adoption. So it demeans that too.

tish on

ok..let’s see.

pregnancy is biological. adoption is not.

preganancy is a physical experience. adoption is not.

pregnancy comes with a host of morbidity. adoption does not.

pregnancy, by definition, is the “process of gestation.” adoption is not.

haven’t met any amoms, with hyperememis gravadarium.

haven’t met any amoms who required an epidural to obtain their children.

haven’t met any amoms who suffered from eclamspia during their adoption process.

therefore…adoption purported as the new pregnancy is logically flawed!

locked on

hmm… not a regular CBB reader (but love the site though!)… and not a mother aswell.

But to me when I see this shirt I think of the people who choose to adopt because they are too vain to get pregnant. that’s what I think of.

And yea, it makes it seem as if adoption and getting pregnant is too easy. it’s not.

Lisa Sainsbury on

The point is to encourage women to delude themselves, and what’s more, to feel that’s it’s somehow O.K, even cool, to do that.
Is it exploiting subconscious “pregnancy envy”? I think so.
But any rate, it’s pathetic.

Let’s get real, folks. Adoption isn’t some kind of mindless cute joke. There’s no adoption that isn’t founded on loss, regardless of how necessary it may be for a child to have a home.
“Adoption is the new pregnant” makes a mockery of this.

Amy Miller on

I cannot believe how hot a topic this has become. Its a TEE SHIRT NOT A TEXT BOOK. If you don’t like it don’t wear it but reading all sorts of subtexts into a one-liner that was clearly meant with good intentions is ridiculous. Adoption isn’t a fad – neither is pregnancy- and I don’t think this implies that. Nor does it make light of either process. This tee is the first I’ve ever seen that talks about the two in the same breath with joy – I think its time to stop creating controversy where there is none for lack of better things to do…

B on

As an adult adoptee in reunion with my biological family, I find this t-shirt highly offensive.
Adoption is not the new pregnant anyone who has actually experienced pregnancy knows that. To say otherwise is delusional and demeaning to first mothers and adoptees.
And most importantly, adoption should never be considered a substitut for pregnancy.
I was not placed on this earth to cure my adoptive mother’s infertility. And I am lucky that she never made me or my sibling feel that way.

Really, why does adoption have to be the new anything?

Why can’t adoption just be adoption?

What is so wrong with that?

Shannon on

This shirt is horrifying. It makes adoption seem trendy and easy. That may be true for the likes of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and all of the other very wealthy, caucasian, privledged people who choose adoption. It has been my experience that adoption isn’t anything close to trendy or easy. So, no, adoption is not the new pregnant. I’m sad and angry that someone would consider that appropriate.

Erika Klein on

I find this t shirt OFFENSIVE, INSENSITIVE and downright inhumane.

there is nothing “COOL” about a child losing its mother. There is nothing Cool about a mother losing her child.

Adoptees and first families deserve a helluva alot better then this pop culture crap.

Adoption affects people for life. Theres no t shirt for it or any other way to sugar coat it.You’re making a mockery of the very fabric of our lives.

SHAME!!!! Take this DOWN!!!

Renee on

Shannon, I doubt Angelina and Brad’s adoption process was extremely easy especially since they aren’t married. I don’t get why people feel the need to pick on them about adoption issues.They don’t owe us any type of explanation about how long the process their adoptions take. Also, with Pax it was probably easier because they adopted an older child when a good portion of people looking to adopt especially overseas are looking for babies. Also, let’s not forget how difficult Madonna’s adoption has been. I do have to say Tish,that your comments are confusing. Are you trying to say that pregnancy is harder than adoption? No one is saying pregnancy and adoption are the same thing but your comments are confusing.Don’t like the shirt, don’t buy it.

Jane on

I have tried to post this comment from the beginning and its been rejected
There is nothing rude/offensive/spam or anything else that breaks your code of comment…I emailed you about and received the standard email that everyone else got as well, and then you followed on with this commentary and a poll…I’d really like for my comment that I did right from 31st March to be included as well… I hope you cansee that it DOES Cause outrage….Why dont you design one with OPEN ADOPTEES RECORDS

instead ?

Original comment below

WOW, no WOW is too nice a word …OMG the world has gone mad..
Cashing in on the Sadness of Adoption. What may be happy to one mother, the one gaining a baby/child is Sadness / grief / Loss To another mother – the one LOSING The baby/child to adoption.
Flaunting the adoption of a baby on a non pregnant womans chest and stating that Adoption is the New Pregnancy is utterly ridiculous and completely thoughtless of both the designer and the wearer. Do you think that the mother who gave her child up for adoption (For whatever reason) walking down the street having that staring in her face isn’t going to to completely Hurt and once again a knife driven through her heart at her loss?

The absolute BEST Thing that the designer could do is to REMOVE This disgusting Tshirt from the market.
Adoption is NOT The new Pregnancy, This insults the Mother who gave birth to the adopted child, It insults the Adoptive mother who COULD NOT Give Birth and it insults Everyone touched by adoption.

Frankly it doesn’t even make sense

Why not think with your heart and brain instead of your Wallet.

Indah on

I’m thinking about adopting. I happen to like the shirt and I’m not offended by these words.

Pretty soon, we’re not going to be able to say or enjoy anything on CBB without people typing in letters to the publisher about stuff that bothers them, when we all have our unique experiences.

I can think of dozens of things to be horrified about when thinking about children who are victimized or neglected, putting the words adoption and pregnancy in the same sentence on a t shirt is not one of them.

Jenna on

Anything that removes the birth parent from the adoption equation is offensive to me. I AM a birth parent. I AM the one who was pregnant and placed my child.

But this all seems old news to me. I wrote about this on the birth parent blog last Octber:

Do not trivialize my experience. My pregnancy was complicated. I had two surgeries during it to ensure that myself and the child I was carrying, my daughter, would be healthy. I went through the emotional turmoil of placing that baby in the arms of another (most awesome!) woman, her mom. And I live with that grief and loss every day of my life. And people just want me to disappear and go away.

No. I won’t. I am part of the equation and I’m tired of being told that I’m not important.

Thanksgivingmom on

“…we have received only letters of thanks and support from women of all circumstance — those who have adopted, been adopted, or know someone who is in the process of adopting a child in need.”

And THIS is the problem – “of all circumstance” you say? Because I can’t help but note that firstmoms are a HUGE part of the adoption equation, but apparently aren’t one of the “circumstances” considered. While my DD’s birthmom was waiting for placement, and I was ACTUALLY PREGNANT I would have felt so much like an incubator, rather than a pregnant woman.

Adoption doesn’t happen WITHOUT a pregnancy, so no, adoption is NOT the next pregnancy. But this shirt is the next way of silencing firstmothers and ignoring their role in adoption.

Brandi on

I actually sell this shirt, and think that adoption should be celebrated-the purpose of the shirt. I honestly believe that anybody that has the time to post negative comments should go enjoy some sunshine. Adoption ROCKS!

Sheba on

Birth mom’s can’t have it both ways. You give up your baby so you don’t have to be responsible for their day to day caring, but you still want acknowledgement for your role. Please. Barring rape or molestation unwanted pregnancy has been preventable for about 50 years. And, I don’t want to hear the nonsense accidents happen. Those so called accidents are usually the person “forgetting” to take their pill or thinking the pull-out method actually works. Unwanted pregnancy is usually the result of irresponsibility.

I’m all for parents who want open adoptions. However, I’m just as supportive of adoptive parents and children who want nothing to do with the birth parent. Sure you gave life. But there’s another big step. You take care of that life. Not hand it off to highest bidder or nearest adoption agency. And if you decide not to take care of that life you brought into this world… don’t get offended if your presence isn’t acknowledged.

I don’t think giving up your child is something to be commended. It’s simply a reality. You don’t deserve a pat on the back, a well done, or even a T-shirt in your honor. The people who should be commended and highly regarded in the adoption process are the parents who adopt.

Lisa Sainsbury on

I can’t help but wonder why it’s so hard for certain people to accept that there really are many women who’ve relinquished, as well as many adoptees, who have good reason to find this slogan disturbing.

I can only conclude that these individuals do understand on one level, but don’t want to face up to it.

Of course, it’s also possible that they just don’t care about anyone’s feelings other than their own.

kimkim on

Making money from a mother losing her child is tacky. The t-shirt is ignoring the loss and grief that comes with adoption. The t-shirt is making a profit from adoption in a non helpful way.

There is already a huge distance between relinquishing mothers and the rest of the adoption community. This t-shirt helps perpetuate the idea that we don’t matter.

Adoption is not the new pregnant, it’s not being pregnant. To take that away from us mothers too is very insulting.

Bottom line is that I would not be comfortable saying “adoption is the new pregnant” to anyone’s face.

I actually think adoption is more like shopping than being pregnant, especially in America.

I don’t want to be the whipping boy so this is why I come to this blog and leave my opinion.

The t-shirt doesn’t bother me that much but I would never buy it and if someone wore it to my house I would ask them to leave….

tish on

hi renee, sorry i confused you. let’s try it again.

i never stated (nor implied) that one was “more difficult” than the other. i simply stated (and implied) that the two are fundamentally different–one being a physical experience, while the the other is not.

the shirt reads, “adoption is the new pregnant.” hence, it implies that the two are synonymous, or worse, adoption has co-opted the term “pregnancy”. they are not synonymous, and last i checked, pregnancy hasn’t changed over the past 1000 gazillion years. hence, to imply otherwise is logically flawed.

grant it, people who adopt go through a process–often a difficult process; yet that process is NOT CALLED PREGNANCY. pregnancy has it’s own definition. and i’m sorry, but adoption is not part of that definition. and to imply otherwise is simply delusional.

and you’re right, i don’t have to buy the shirt. and i most likely won’t. because it’s in poor taste.

Greedy Desparate Infertile on

I’m not a fan of t-shirts like these, even if I could get pregnant I wouldn’t wear the “baby on board” one’s either, I find them ALL tacky.

With that said, a friend of mine who is also adopting — her mother bought each of us a “Pregnant on Paper” t-shirt. I admit, I really like the style shirt so I do wear it.

I’m sure the intent of the these t-shirts isn’t meant to marginalize anyone’s feelings, however, I can see were this would offend some people and Lord knows I see plenty of t-shirts that I find offensive and deaming all the time.

Another thought…would we ask a pregnant woman to not were an “I can grow people, what’s your superpower?” t-shirt because it might offend someone who’s infertile? Isn’t that marginalizing their feelings?

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I know my happiness at becoming a mom does not negate a first mom’s or adoptees sadness and loss, but at what point do I just get to be happy for me and express that with out fear of offending someone?

Lisa Sainsbury on

“Another thought…would we ask a pregnant woman to not were an “I can grow people, what’s your superpower?”
Well, yeah, duh. Why *not* ask? That’s insensitive too.
People don’t have to comply, but one would wish they would think beyond themselves a bit.

I think someone should market a T-shirt that says “Spare me, Grim Reaper” on the front and sports a bull’s eye on the back.

“I guess what I’m trying to say is, I know my happiness at becoming a mom does not negate a first mom’s or adoptees sadness and loss, but at what point do I just get to be happy for me and express that with out fear of offending someone?”

I don’t see why personal happiness can’t coexist with empathy for others. Nobody’s telling anyone NOT to be happy, just asking not to ram it down the throats of others who may be less fortunate, and may in fact have even contributed to their happiness through their loss. Just a little sensitivity and self-restraint. I don’t understand why it seems to be such a problem

K, mother of two internationally adopted children on

I certainly understand the intent behind this shirt (not intended to offend), but I also understand why some first mothers feel like this “squeezes them out” of the equation. I think there is a place for adoptive mothers to celebrate adoption, but I don’t think this one hits the mark.

Another reason I personally don’t like it is because it makes adoption seem like a trend. “This fall, taupe is the new black. Everyone simply must wear it!” I know, as an adoptive mother of two internationally-adopted children, I get very tired of people comparing me to Angelina, Madonna, etc. or making snide comments about “baby-shopping.” (This generally only happens online, but still…one comment on this blog has already compared adopting to shopping.) We put a lot of thought and research into our decision and tried to do it ethically, and I hope other potential parents are doing the same. Don’t take that away from me. I don’t think slogans that make adoption sound anything like shopping/fashion do us a service at all.

I realize that this shirt is only meant to say “I’m proud to be adopting” but I think it, unintentionally, says a whole lot more than that.

greedy desparate infertile on

It has nothing to do with self-restaint, wearing a t-shirt is not ramming a person’s happiness down another’s throat.

You are entitled to dislike the t-shirt and not purchase it, you don’t even have to look at it, but who are you to tell someone else they can’t wear it? That’s called censorship, and last I checked it’s a free country. Your free to hate the shirt and others are free to like it.

The problem is one person telling another person what they can and can’t wear — unless you’re their mother it’s none of you business!

Lisa Sainsbury on

GDI wrote, “You are entitled to dislike the t-shirt and not purchase it,”

Thanks. I do, and I won’t.

” you don’t even have to look at it,”

A slogan emblazoned across someone’s chest doesn’t leave people much choice. That’s the whole point of T-shirt slogans.

“but who are you to tell someone else they can’t wear it.”

I didn’t. In fact I said that people *don’t have to comply*.

“The problem is one person telling another person what they can and can’t wear”

See above.

” — unless you’re their mother it’s none of you business!”

So what are comments for, if not opinions?

Adoptee on

Adopted persons are adopted because their own mothers gave birth to them. Why would an adoptive mother want to dismiss the reality that the adopted child has a mother who was pregnant with her or him? Adoption is taking a child into your home who already has a family and identity, which did not come through adoption. Adoption is adoption – pregnant is pregnant. One has nothing to do with other. Please, have some respect for those of us who lost our families and idenity so you could build one!

tish on

ok… seriously.

i’ve read the comments and they have become a wee bit whacky.

please read the definition of “pregnancy.”

“The state of being pregnant; the period from conception to birth when a woman carries a developing fetus in her uterus.”

and of adoption:

“1. To take into one’s family through legal means and raise as one’s own child.”


here’s my belief: why must non-pregnant people co-opt pregnancy? pregnant women usually do not co-opt adoption. so this seems to be a one-way street.

i am fertile, yet, i would NEVER attempt to equate my experience of having my children to a woman who endured the emotional stress, intrusiveness and costs of adoption. and i’d appreciate that the same respect is given to me and other women who endure physical pregnancy. nether is effortless. simply different.

why can’t we all (as mothers) simply acknowledge that our children came to us in two COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WAYS. this is sort of like the whole, “plane, trains, and automobiles” types of travel. although each is a means to travel to a destination; one would not call a train ride, an airplane flight.

i digress…

if the goal is to parent. then focus on PARENTING.

it’s this type of behavior that fuels pregnancy envy and disrespect for families built through adoption.

i also don’t think it’s fair to compare t-shirts for pregnant women with this one. quite honestly, “i can grow people” is TRUE…if worn by a pregnant (see. definition) woman. the “adoption is the new pregnant t-shirt” attempts to change the definition of pregnancy, hence, is not true.

i’m not trying to be insensitive, yet it’s time to stop trying to rationalize something that is simply, not true.

Greedy Desparate Infertile on

Try looking the t-shirt wearer in the eyes not at their chest and you won’t have a problem.

At the end of the day we will just have to agree to disagree about whether or not a person has the right to wear a t-shirt we don’t like. I respect the fact that you have an opinion and feel passionately about it, I just happen to disagree with your assertion that the shirt should be done away with because some people don’t like it.

freedom of speech does apply even if it’s in poor taste.

So you feel that your superior to a woman who suffers from infertility because you can get pregnant and they cannot? Because that’s what that t-shirts says.

tish on

dear “GDI” (interesting name, BTW)

where in my post did you read that i feel as if i’m superior to an infertile woman?

i think you’re attempting to infer something negative from my words, towards your infertility that i am not trying to convey.

to provide some background, my relevance to this discourse is that i made an adoption plan, yet later changed my mind. i was hounded, lied to, threatened and treated like i’d committed a crime for wanting to parent my child. i experienced years of guilt, shame and fear that my child would be taken away from me, due to that experience.

while i can empathize with your pain with infertility, i wonder if you are able to look beyond your own pain and realize that those of us who are on the “production” side of adoption might have endured our own pain. fertility doesn’t offer us immunity from being hurt.

while you were spinning my words, you obviously neglected to read the part when i wrote, ” i would NEVER attempt to equate my experience of having my children to a woman who endured the emotional stress, intrusiveness and costs of adoption.[…] nether is effortless. simply different.”

all i stated was that PREGNANCY is not the same as ADOPTION. in what what is that being superior?

if an amom wore a shirt that read, “mother, by adoption” that would be appropriate, and not offensive at all. but…to purport that one is experiencing something that is NOT ACTUALLY BEING EXPERIENCED is inaccurate. that’s all i implied.

i choose not to hijack this message board to have this debate.

Lisa Sainsbury on

GDT, I promise to strive to never allow my wanton eyes to stray towards a T-shirt slogan again.
If I fail, I will raise mine eyes to the hills, from whence cometh my help.
Or maybe I should harken to Matthew 18:9 “And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee.”
Seriously, you’re telling me to never read a T-shirt someone’s wearing again?
You’ve got to be kidding.

“I just happen to disagree with your assertion that the shirt should be done away with because some people don’t like it.”
I asserted that? Show me where.
I had thought we’d sorted that one out. I’ve already said “people don’t have to comply”, meaning comply with the wishes of others to cease and desist from flaunting stupid T-shirts printed with insensitive slogans.
When last I heard ‘comply’ meant to act in accordance with someone’s rules.

“freedom of speech does apply even if it’s in poor taste.”
So you agree it’s in poor taste.
At least that’s something.

Greedy Desparate Infertile on

If you had read my entire first post I clearly stated I didn’t like the t-shirt. I do think it’s in poor taste and I can see why some people would find it offensive.

I also think it minimizes adoptive parents as nothing more than people trying to be trendy, when most of us just want to be good parents.
My point was simply that some people calling for the shirt to be banned or done away with is censorship. I apologize if I attributed the idea of banning these t-shirts to you specifically if that was not the case.

To quote you:
“i also don’t think it’s fair to compare t-shirts for pregnant women with this one. quite honestly, “i can grow people” is TRUE…if worn by a pregnant (see. definition) woman.”
Your assertion that the “I can grow people, what is your super power” t-shirt is true if worn by a pregnant woman, and therefore she (the pregnant woman)IS superior to a woman who can’t. I didn’t have to infer anything.

I’m not in any pain over my infertility, thank you for your empathy but it’s not necessary. I also don’t look at any pregnant woman as a “production line” for me.
And I most certainly am not comparing the grief and pain I dealt with over my infertility to any pain you have gone through. Quite simply they can’t be compared.

Not sure if you would believe me if I told you this, but, I have NEVER been jealous of a pregnant woman, NEVER wished that it was me instead of her (have wished I could be too)that was pregnant, NEVER cried or been angry that a friend, family member or coworker was pregnant and I wasn’t. I had friends and family members get like that and I don’t understand that mentality in women.

My only point was that if people start demanding this t-shirt be done away with because some people find it offensive, then that’s censorship and I don’t think we should be going down that road as offensive as the t-shirt is.

FYI – the name is meant to poke fun at myself, since that is what I have been called so many times, online.

tish on


i quit. seriously, the circular logic is distracting to the discourse.

be well.

MamaRobina on

“Paper Pregnant” is not pregnant, adoption is not the “new pregnant” and the paperwork that is done to acquire a child is NOT labor. I defy anyone who thinks along these lines to experience gestation, labor and birth and make this comparison. Since most of those who make this comparison are unable to conceive, the comparison is based on very incomplete information.

The poll asked if I found the tee shirt “offensive.” I find it more than that. I find it painful, inaccurate and an insult to the natural family. If people must adopt, then be realistic about what it includes, and that does mean original parents, different genetics and special circumstances for the child involved. Don’t make it harder than it already is.

Barb on

GreedyDesperateInfertile wrote:

(speaking about grief) “Quite simply they can’t be compared.”

….just as adoption can not be compared to pregnancy, Greedy.

You’d have to be living in a cartoon world to believe they are the same.


“Relinquishing mothers have more grief symptoms than women who have lost a child to death, including more denial; despair, atypical responses; and disturbances in sleep, appetite, and vigor.” Askren, H., & Bloom, K. (1999) Post-adoptive reactions of the relinquishing mother: A review. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecological and Neonatal Nursing, 1999 Jul-Aug; 28(4)

tiggerlover on

Why would you even think that this tee shirt would come accross as positive?? What were you smoking at the time you came up with this one???? Really, you must have a deep seated dislike for your bio-mom to insult her in this manner. What a really great way to say you appreciate the fact that she didn’t abort you, that she carried you for nine months, that she probably would have rather given her right arm instead of you.

Greedy Desparate Infertile on

I never said pregnancy and adoption were the same.
If you took the time to read all of my posts you would see that.

If you had read all of the posts you would also see that I don’t condone this t-shirt or it’s message.

Living in the real world, thanks.

Julie on

Hey, I think the “Adoption is the New Pregnant” T-Shirt is a great idea! It gives older single women like me encouragement.

I get the idea that I would not be any less of a woman or mother if I were to adopt. I had considered it over pregnancy since my early 20s anyway.

In fact, I am tired of the pressure that you should be married by a certain age. I would like to have my own child, but I am tired of the pressure.


I find this t-shirt to be highly offensive, adoption could never be the new pregnant…lets get real they are not pregnant! To try and act as if pregnancy is nothing is insane. I think people who adopt should have MORE respect for women who give birth.

Lisa on

Oh for heaven’s sake. Don’t you people have something else to complain about? Thank God for the loving familes who adopt! Wish them well and quit fussing about a t-shirt that announces motherhood. The process of becoming a parent might have taken a different path from yours, but it’s still parenthood….we’re all in the same club, okay? I have a maternity store and many of my customers have both had babies and adopted and I can’t imagine any of them begrudging a new mother a chance to celebrate her “pregnancy” Sheeesh.
Love and kisses to all brave parents!

Lynnie Lane-Stricker on

Hi there!
I too design maternity tees and have an online store. Creating new designs for maternity tees can be very touchy and even though the tee was not meant to offend in anyway, it obviously rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. I too have a tee that offended some. I designed a tee for all the moms-2-be that have husbands or themselves are in the military. It simply reads ‘Mission Accomplished’ Even though the tee sells very well and has meaning and is fun for those in the military, it still offended some. I think the best thing we designers can do is try our best to stay tasteful in our designs and keep pregnancy a beautiful thing. I have learned that you can not please everyone and everyone is entitled to their opinion. I try my very best to design tees that are humorous, yet tasteful and pleasing to all. I try to keep this beautiful event in a woman’s life fun with a little light hearted humor. I think all of us designers do a pretty good job and I think we all have a wonderful time adding a little humor to those long 9 months! Lynnie @ Apple & Eve Maternity

SH on

I love this shirt! As an adoptive mother, I think it is fantastic to see a way for a woman to showcase her excitement! Thinking this is offensive is like adoptive parents finding a pregnant woman’s belly offensive. It is showing that adoption is equal to pregnancy as it should be seen!

michell on

As both an adopted adult and a recent adoptive mother to 2 boys i love this shirt and wish i had seen it during our adoption journey

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