The Kid

reviewed by Katharine Swan

The Kid

by Dan Savage
second edition, Plume Publishing, 2005

If adoption is an issue that has many different points of view, then gay adoption is particularly faceted. However, one point of view that is so frequently overlooked is that of the gay adoptive parent.

I couldn’t think of anyone better to expose this point of view than Dan Savage. In The Kid, Savage chronicles the entire story of his quest to adopt – from his failed attempts to negotiate a parenting partnership with several lesbians and the beginnings of his relationship with his boyfriend, Terry, to the happy ending that was more perfect than either of them could have dreamed. The entire experience is colored with Savage’s often unexpected, yet outrageously appropriate, sense of humor.

The story of adopting the cutest baby in the world (according to his daddies) isn’t the only entertainment The Kid has to offer. Throughout the long journey, Savage finds many places to work in relevant, yet irrepressibly funny, background information: his reflections during a prostrate exam – which is somehow necessary for him to adopt a child; the fiery fate of his first Playgirl; the story of how he and Terry hooked up; and, naturally, his rants on “fundies” and their Christian-colored attitudes about gay adoption.

The ebb and flow of Savage’s tale naturally draws the reader along. We laugh at his wit, anxiously await “the call” along with him and Terry, and smile knowingly as he describes the pleasures and doubts of being a new parent. Although his storytelling techniques are perhaps a bit unconventional, Savage invites his readers to stand in his shoes for a few hours. The result is a powerful testimonial to every individual’s right to have a family.

If only we could all take on such a contentious issue as gay adoption with as much grace – and humor – as Dan Savage.

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