Thursday 20 November 2014

#CBR6 Book 121: "The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Get Pregnant" by Dan Savage

Page count: 246 pages
Audio book length: 7hrs 33 mins
Rating: 4 stars

I've been reading Dan Savage's Savage Love for years and years now, and when I'm in the mood for Podcasts (which I have to admit, I rarely am, I just can't seem to get into them, it puzzles me greatly), I often listen to his Savage Lovecast. He's generally quite open about himself, his life and his experiences, so I already knew that he was married and that they had an adopted child. My BFF Lydia recommended this audio book to me when I visited her in the States in early October, and as my husband and I are trying to get me pregnant, I figured it could be pretty topical.

In this book, Dan relates what happened when he and his then boyfriend (now husband, as far as I'm aware) decided to adopt a child together, at a time and a place where gay adoption was not always a popular choice. They used an organisation which arranged open adoptions, which means that the adoptive parents and the birth mother keep in contact after the adoption and agree on a schedule in which the birth mother can visit her child, should she choose to do so. Dan and Terry were the first gay men to successfully adopt through the agency they used.

The book is divided into three parts, chronicling the couple's decision process, the application stage, the waiting period where they were wondering if they'd ever get picked, followed by the period in which they got to know the birth mother of their child, a street punk (a girl who is voluntarily homeless) from Portland..Due to her history of drinking and recreational drug experimentation before she realised she was pregnant, there were possibilities for complications with the baby, and Dan and Terry had to consider carefully whether they wanted to adopt this young woman's child.

Dan manages to be very honest and personal, without the reader feeling as if they now know everything about him and his family. He deals with serious issues, but intersperses it with humorous anecdotes. Savage wrote the book in 1999, and as I knew full well from reading his columns and listening to his podcasts that he has a kid, there was never any element of suspense or surprise as to whether he and Terry would be successful in their adoption. It was a very interesting book, well narrated by Savage himself. I must admit that hearing him talking about several of the straight couples they met when trying to adopt, who had mostly all tried to go through all manner of fertility treatments before settling on adoption, made me a bit more worried about my own future, considering I'm already experiencing difficulties with conceiving. As adoption is a very slow, time consuming, not to mention extremely costly process in Norway, it is sadly unlikely to ever be an option for my husband and I. So I'm just going to have to hope that we have luck either the natural way or somewhat assisted by science.

Based on this book, I would absolutely be interested in checking out more of Savage's written work. He is just as charming and interesting when narrating his own audio book as he is on his podcast (and he generally speaks more slowly).

Crossposted on Cannonball Read.

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