The Buttigiegs, who have been married for three years, had been trying to adopt for a year before they welcomed their daughter and son into their family.
A few weeks after announcing to the world that they'd become parents, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten Buttigieg, revealed Saturday that they'd welcomed not one but two babies to their family. Sharing the first public photo of the infants to social media, Buttigieg—the first openly gay person to be confirmed by the Senate for a Cabinet position— wrote: "Chasten and I are beyond thankful for all the kind wishes since first sharing the news that we’re becoming parents. We are delighted to welcome Penelope Rose and Joseph August Buttigieg to our family."
While the heartwarming announcement—which came amid a nationwide debate over abortion and women's reproductive choices—would've been a good opportunity for conservatives to present the Buttigiegs as an example of why they consider adoption a better choice, Evangelical "pro-lifers" across the internet went apoplectic. They reminded us once again that when they say "adoption is an option" it doesn't apply to gay folks and that their supposedly "pro-life" politics are less about saving babies, and more about controlling people's reproductive rights. "Where are the mothers? My heart goes out to these infants," tweeted Lila Rose, anti-choice activist and founder of pro-birth charity Live Action.
Are you fuckin' people seriously against both abortion and adoption now? You just need to control literally every fuckin choice someone else makes that in no way will ever affect your life, huh?— Ian Fortey's 2nd Book is Available Now! Get it! (@IanFortey) September 6, 2021
When you’re more anti-gay than you are pro-life.— Brad Polumbo 🇺🇸⚽️ 🏳️🌈 (@brad_polumbo) September 6, 2021
For someone who “fights for life” it kinda seems like you’re bad at it. These two babies have a loving home now. That’s all that matters.— Ryan Trout (@RyanTroutSays) September 5, 2021
"You can lose a mom or dad through death, abandonment/abuse, or by design (being intentionally brought into the world via invitro & surrogacy to be a child for a same-sex couple). It is wrong for us adults to pretend that the loss of a loving mom (or dad) won't affect the child," Rose added. The Buttigiegs' announcement even made waves overseas, with La Manif Pour Tous (LMPT), one of France's largest organizations supposedly fighting for the "traditional family," claiming in a since-deleted tweet that the couple had stolen their babies from the mother.
So you’re “pro-life” when it fits your bigoted, narrow-minded version of what a life should be.— Bill Vidonic (@BillVidonic) September 6, 2021
My husband and I, along with our 3 children, and 5 grandchildren are shocked this is happening, right here in the good old USA. The discrimination is what I’m speaking about of course… there are millions of LGBTQ+ successful families. We are your neighbors. pic.twitter.com/0rNjol4QCS— LGBTQ+ Family Connections Center 🏳️🌈 (@center_lgbtq) September 6, 2021
I grew up in the states system. I promise you I would have been happy with 2 gay parents an be filled with love.— Alexander Supertramp 🦚🍟🎮 (@Mistie_Mo) September 6, 2021
You don't get to speak for me.
"How can you not be scandalized by this photo? Not content to have stolen the babies from the mother just after childbirth, these two men also took her place in the hospital bed... Think about these children who have been robbed of their mother forever," the tweet reportedly stated. Twitter user @ParisPasRose, who saved a screenshot of the tweet, was quick to point out the flaws in LMPT's allegations. "All the press specifies in black and white that the spouses Buttigieg did not use (surrogacy) but became dads of twins at the end of a process of adoption of abandoned children, but we know well the passion of the demo for all for lies and insults," they tweeted.
"Le Washington Post rapportait dès juillet que les Buttigieg [le ministre américain des Transports et son mari] étaient sur liste d'attente pour adopter un ou plusieurs bébés nés sous X ou abandonnés"https://t.co/YsW28fNByp— Claire Underwood (@ParisPasRose) September 5, 2021
I have known plenty of straight fathers who have had photos holding their newborn babies while in a hospital bed.— David Lord (@LordOfVillainy) September 5, 2021
Nobody batted an eyelid.
A lot of anti-adoption sentiment from someone whose party is also anti-choice, anti-birth control, anti-living wages, and anti-childcare.— happyinchaos (@happyinchaos) September 4, 2021
It's amazing how many people are being triggered by the sight of a father where they're used to seeing a mother. By laying in the bed with their babies, they're not trying to invalidate your experience... They're trying to create their own. It's probably the safest way to do so.— sun set (@AcaShaka) September 5, 2021
The Buttigiegs, who have been married for three years, had been trying to adopt for a year before they welcomed Penelope Rose and Joseph August into their lives. Speaking to The Washington Post in July, they revealed that they'd been going through home studies and parenting workshops, and writing up descriptions of their family values and ideal weekends. "They are on lists that would allow them to receive a baby who has been abandoned or surrendered at very little notice, and through lengthier processes that would allow a prospective mother to choose them in advance (although she wouldn’t know their identities). They’ve gotten close enough, on multiple occasions, to shop for baby gear and discuss names," the report stated.
Congratulations to you both. Let's hope you can raise your children not to be judgemental, like the majority of the people on this thread. May God bless all 4 of you— Mary Clarke (@MaryCla40223566) September 5, 2021
Congrats gents! We had boy/girl twins 5 years ago so we wish you guys the best of luck as you’re in for quite a ride!! pic.twitter.com/HZfxzKVm6Y— Joey Frasier (@joeyfrasier) September 4, 2021
Congrats to Chasten and Pete from all the twin-dads of the world! Here's a pic from 13 yrs ago. Would do a then and now, but I'm enough trouble with my kids already. pic.twitter.com/rMezvEVuYw— Pseudonymous Bosch (@isthisPBosch) September 4, 2021
"It's a really weird cycle of anger and frustration and hope," Chasten said at the time. "You think it's finally happening and you get so excited, and then it's gone." The 32-year-old revealed that he sometimes thought about what they will tell their future child: "We tried so hard for you. We waited so long for you."