Sunday, February 26, 2012

Book Review: The Kid

The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant
by Dan Savage
Find it on Amazon
What a great book!

Full disclosure: I had actually read this book already a few years back, and I'm a big fan of Dan Savage to begin with. So I was more than a little biased towards liking this book before I began reading it this time around. That said, I was surprised at how much the story resonated with me; whereas the last time I read it the book was just a fun memoir, this time I saw a lot in there that I could definitely identify with!

In fact, it's a bit strange how closely this narrative seems to fit our current situation. There's of course the easy parallel of two gay men adopting a child together, but more strangely they actually used the same agency (Open Adopt & Family Services) that we're working with now. A lot of what Dan Savage wrote about the way he experienced the entire process seems to mirror exactly many of the conversations Brian and I have had so far.

So instead of focusing on how similar our experiences feel to what's in this book, I want to quickly mention a few of the major things that I think are going to be different about our journey. (After all, if you want to find out more, you can just read the book anyway!) The events in the book took place about 15 years ago, so some things have changed since then:
  1. At the time that Dan Savage and his boyfriend Terry Miller adopted their son, OA&FS had not successfully placed children with any gay couples. In that way, they were really blazing a completely new trail in creating their family. We're much luckier, in that gay couples now make up a huge portion of the families that OA&FS works with, and adopting as gay men is not going to be as much a hurdle for us as it was for them.
  2. Open adoption as a concept was still much newer when they adopted, and it wasn't anywhere near as commonplace as it is nowadays. I'll admit that openness in adoptions is still not entirely the norm by any means, but it seems that at least within adoption circles it's becoming much more of a recommended practice. One of these days on the blog, Brian or I will get around to writing a bit more about openness in adoption and what that means, since it's something we've been learning a lot about!
  3. We won't get a placement in just 2 weeks like they did!* After they entered the pool of waiting families, Dan and Terry were chosen by a birth mother after only about two weeks. Now Brian and I are definitely excited to have kids, but if we're preparing for an average 14-month wait, 2 weeks would probably catch us off guard.
Despite some of those differences, which mainly seemed due to the fact that 15 years have passed since the book's events, it still felt very applicable to what Brian and I will be dealing with in the coming months. I'd definitely recommend this book as a good read for anyone interested in finding out more about adoption, open adoption, or gay parenting, or really for anyone just looking for a fun, quick read.

*Okay, it's technically possible that we will. But with adoptive families waiting an average of 14 months for a placement, it's highly unlikely.

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