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The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend…
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The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant

by Dan Savage

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Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
From my Cannonball Read V Review...

I reviewed Dan Savages new book American Savage over the summer. When I heard that The Kid was available on audio book read by Mr. Savage himself, I quickly downloaded it. I planned to listen to it on runs but it was so good that after about three 20-minute runs I said screw it and listened to it all day until it was done. And it was good.

The Kid follows Mr. Savage and his boyfriend (now husband) Terry Miller’s adoption of a baby through an open adoption process in Portland, Oregon. The book is broken up into sections that roughly follow the idea of pregnancy – gestation, birth, afterbirth (heh) – and include details of the challenges they faced as well as some fun stories about Mr. Savage and Mr. Miller that are relevant but not just about choosing to have a baby. For example, Mr. Savage became a republican in 1996 because there weren’t any in his neighborhood, which meant he was the precinct captain and got to try to influence the platform. That’s pretty funny.

Many of the stories focus on the uniqueness of two gay men adopting a child, especially the many years ago when Mr. Savage and Mr. Miller made the decision to become parents. In their intro seminar with the agency, it was all couples who were adopting because they weren’t able to conceive. As you can imagine, that meant they were coming at the process from a somewhat different place than other families. They weren’t trying to come to terms with infertility issues – that was kind of the deal from the beginning, being two men and all. Mr. Savage was also clear to point out that gay adoption wasn’t legal in all states at this time, and that “the more gay and lesbian couples raise children, the less easy it will be for the religious right to convince everyone that we’re monsters.”

They chose to adopt through an agency that deals solely in fully open adoptions, and I found it very interesting to learn details of Oregon law. In the past I’ve heard about open adoptions, but really learning about them, and about the laws that help make it easier for all involved was fascinating. And please note – I have no interest in bearing or adopting children, and this was still extremely interesting to me, so don’t be worried you won’t like it just because you aren’t interesting in having kids, or adopting them. As you can imagine (otherwise there wouldn’t be a book), they do eventually get chosen by a birth mother. Her story is interesting too, as is their attempts to navigate the relationship they are building together, premised around this baby she is going to give to them to raise. It’s sweet, but NOT overly sentimental. I loved that.

A couple of recommendations – if you are going to listen to or read the book, as it gets near the end, if you’re a crier, maybe set some alone time. When it comes time for them to take the baby, it’s heartbreaking. The language Mr. Savage uses is lovely, and a real tribute to all parties involved – the birth mother, the agency, and Mr. Savage and Mr. Miller. Adoption is obviously hard but an amazing choice, and the open adoption process seems to be filled with so much compassion and caring for the child and all the parties involved.

One point Mr. Savage made repeatedly that is obvious but good to be reminded about is the assumptions people make when they see babies. Living in the Pacific Northwest, I find that I’m surrounded by mostly progressive, or at least liberal, folks. I live in the same neighborhood as Mr. Savage and Mr. Miller and their son; seeing same-sex couples with babies is not something that makes me bat an eye. But people who either have not been exposed to that, or have chosen to ignore that it’s a real thing can make unintentionally hurtful comments. For example, if you see two men with a baby, don’t ask where mommy is. Maybe there is no mommy in the picture. It’s none of our business though – it’s important to not jump to any conclusions.

As you can see, I really enjoyed this book, especially the audio version of it. If you’re in the market for a great story with heart but no saccharine, check this one out. ( )
  ASKelmore | Jul 8, 2017 |
i liked reading a perspective on open adoption and the process of going through the same agency we went through to adopt our son (about 11 years after they did). i liked seeing, procedurally, what was different earlier on and what stayed the same (at least until 2011) in the process. (this can't be interesting to almost anyone else, but i really liked this aspect.) the part in the book about how the whole first part of the agency's process is talking about grief and sadness, and he and his partner went in feeling happy and victorious exactly mirrored our experience. there's value in understanding grief, because witnessing a birth mother's grief at placement (yes, even when it's fully her decision) is impossible to describe and bigger than anyone can imagine, but talking about grief is helpful in that moment, and (more importantly) in building a relationship with her. but the insistence that we were grieving our decision to adopt, which was never true for us, was an annoying way to begin the process of adoption. i'd be surprised if they still start this way.

he also had some interesting commentary early on about parenting as two gay men, that i appreciated reading.

i wasn't as into the rest of the book, which surprised me because i had read his columns years ago and liked him and his writing. here it just felt like he was trying to force the tone and make things humorous regardless of what or who he was talking about. it didn't really work for me. (the subtitle of the book is: "an adoption story" and while i have no problem at all - really, i read a surprising amount of gay-boy short stories/books - reading about men sucking dicks, it just mostly didn't have a place in this book.) i think he put it in because it was expected of him or something, and so it felt forced and the tone felt wrong.

still, the adoption stuff was good, and the plug for open adoption (and this amazing agency) a good one. ( )
  elisa.saphier | Mar 23, 2017 |
I read these books in opposite order, so I'm used to thinking about DJ as an eight year old. It was touching to read the story about how they became a family. As always Dan's writing is initmate, with just the perfect touch of snark --the guy at the cocktail party that you are so glad you ended up next to at the beer tub because his observations about other guests are dead on. ( )
  ErikaWasTaken | Sep 22, 2013 |
Summary: When Dan Savage decided he was ready to be a father, the process was a bit more complicated then for most people. Because Dan is gay, he and his boyfriend Terry were limited in their options for having children. They had had discussions with lesbian friends about fathering a biological child, but in the end, they decided that adoption represented the only practical solution. But in the late '90s, adoption by gay parents was legal in only a handful of states, and even in the liberal and progressive Pacific Northwest, Dan and Terry worried if a birth mom would ever pick a gay couple to raise her child. But as they entered the adoption process, they found that had surprises and challenges and heartbreak and joy in store for them that they never would have anticipated.

Review: I've been a fan of Dan Savage's for a long time. Probably since about the time he published this book, in fact. But prior to this year, I'd only read one of his books. So I knew this book was out there, and knew it was something I'd probably enjoy (despite the fact that memoirs are typically not a favorite genre of mine). I also knew, at least in broad outline, the story of how Dan and Terry adopted DJ, their son. Savage is an advice columnist, focused on the lives of the people asking for advice, so he doesn't talk a lot about his family and his personal life on his blog or in his podcasts. But I'd assimilated enough pieces over time to put together at least a vague idea of the story. The book, of course, goes into a lot more detail than I'd heard before. I think that's one of the things that made this such an interesting reading experience: the fact that it was a memoir, that it was personal, that we get to see inside Dan's everyday life, and see Terry as a person rather than a passing mention.

While the subject matter isn't something that would have made me pick this book up if I hadn't been familiar with the author - gay adoption stories, or even adoption stories in general, aren't something that holds a particular interest for me - I thought The Kid was not only an interesting look into the adoption process, but also an interesting read due to its very clear place in time. I was worried that this book would be dated - DJ, who isn't born until near the end of the book, is now a 15-year-old kid. And it was dated, but in such a way that made me surprisingly happy. So much has changed in the arena of gay rights in the past 15 years; among other things, Savage writes in the book about Terry being his boyfriend (he dislikes the word "partner"), and how he doesn't think that he'll see marriage equality in his lifetime. I was hoping that the audiobook production, which was just recorded this year (well after Terry and Dan were married in Washington state), would include a new foreword or afterword in which Savage addresses some of the changes the past 15 years have wrought. It didn't, sadly, but I suppose I know Savage's opinion well enough from having read his column all this time.

Listening to Savage read this book was a great experience. I didn't have the same problems with The Kid as I did with American Savage - perhaps because it's an older book and Savage has a little more distance on it, or perhaps because it's material that was new to me, but I thought his reading sounded natural and lively but still distinct from the off-the-cuff style of his podcasts. Hearing the story not only from his perspective, but also in his voice, really brought the book to life, and I laughed out loud in quite a few places, but I also surprised myself by tearing up several times - especially since I already knew how the story ended. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Unlike American Savage, I think The Kid is perfectly accessible to readers who aren't already fans of Savage's, but who are interested in issues of gay rights, adoption, and/or memoirs with a snarky sense of humor. ( )
1 vote fyrefly98 | Aug 8, 2013 |
I really enjoyed this book. I picked up at work on Saturday and finished it Sunday afternoon. Dan Savage, though a touch sloppy sometimes with his prose, is very readable and entertaining and I enjoyed his account of the open adoption experience. As he does in his advice column, Savage does not hold back on his fears, insecurities and concerns as a gay man embroiled in the very invasive, emotionally taxing process of adoption. I found it refreshing to read such an honest book about the perils and pleasures of starting a family. ( )
1 vote KristySP | Apr 21, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0452281768, Paperback)

Best known for his syndicated sexual advice column, "Savage Love," Dan Savage shares his own story in The Kid, a hilarious account of his efforts--along with his partner--to adopt a child. (Whoops, make that his boyfriend; Savage can't stand the "genderless" P-word: "Straight people and press organs that want to acknowledge gay relationships while at the same time pushing the two-penises stuff as far out of their minds as possible love 'partner.' I hated it.") Savage doesn't give an inch on the sexuality issue; it's hard to imagine that a homophobic reader would even pick up The Kid, but if it happened, Savage's unapologetic presentation of his life would quickly scare that reader off. Which isn't to say that he paints a rosy picture of homosexual cohabitation: the very first scene finds Dan's boyfriend, Terry, locking himself in the bathroom after a fight over the music on the car stereo. The misadventures continue through each step of the open-adoption process, in which Dan and Terry get to know their baby's birth mother, and the first few weeks of parenthood. The Kid is a wonderful, charming account of real "family values" that proves love knows no limits.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:07 -0400)

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"From Dan Savage, the writer whose sex-advice column, 'Savage Love,' enrages and excites four million people every week, comes the story of his journey into parenthood."--P. [4] of cover.

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