read his novel, The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I
Decided to Go Get Pregnant. For those of you who aren’t
familiar with Savage, he’s an often outrageous and always hilarious
columnist, author and gay dad.
While his adopting experience may speak in a special way to LGBTQ
parents and prospective parents, it also resonates with more
mainstream Americans. I was tickled pink when I stumbled across the
blog of Sarah and Eric Hay-Sutton, a straight couple narrating
their own international adoption journey in their blog, On the Way to Little Hay.
Sarah read Savage’s book. Reprinted here with permission, here’s
The fact that Dan Savage, and his partner Terry were
adopting as a gay couple had no bearing on me reading their story.
Savage talks about his early desire to have children, including
failed negotiations with lesbians, and how he and Terry signed on
with an agency in Oregon who pioneered truly open adoptions in the
90s, a time when life-long birthmother and birthfather contact was
still viewed as suspicious, threatening, and damaging.
I recognized so much of myself in their experiences – going to
informational meetings and seeing the grief and despair on the
faces of parents-to-be who were ‘resigning’ themselves to adoption
as a ‘last chance’ to build their families. From the beginning, Dan
and Terry are outsiders in the world of white, upper middle class,
Christian couples wearing chinos and appealing to birthmothers.
They wonder if any birth mother will ever choose them. Their agency
has yet to place a baby with a gay couple. And yet, out of their
homestudy group, they are chosen first, just a couple of days after
going into “the pool.”
But she didn’t stop there. She posted her book review on an
international adoption yahoo group – a group that is primarily
non-LGBTQ parents and prospective parents. Speaking to the unique
challenges that the LGBTQ parenting community encounters, Sarah
I would put this up there as essential reading for
adoptive families. There is a sense of faith and hopefulness on
every page. It doesn’t matter one bit that Dan and Terry are gay,
although some of the statistics about our nationwide treatment of
gay families is rather depressing. Florida, for instance, will not
legalize adoptions in gay families.
Sarah got a lot of compliments about her book recommendation from
parents who couldn’t wait to read the book. She also got one
negative email saying that she was politicizing the message board
and discriminating against homophobes. Now that’s a new
Kudos to Sarah for being an ally, and stepping up the plate.
Believing is good, but it’s not the same as action. Sarah’s book
review is a perfect example of a doable, effective action.
There are only so many LGBTQ parents – but the number of potential
allies is huge. We aren’t going to win this fight alone. We need
allies, like Sarah, on our side; allies that are not just talking
the talk, but walking the walk.