An American Family

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( 28 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780312288877: An American Family

What makes a family?
Love makes a family.

This is the story of two gay men who become foster parents to Adam, a premature baby, born with the AIDS virus and addicted to crack, heroin, marijuana, and alcohol. While nursing Adam through the many medical emergencies of his first year and surviving the daily dramas that all new parents go through, they realize that this child, their son, could be taken back from them at any time by the state, and they decide to try to legally adopt him together. Refused by the state—even as it asks them to care for another at-risk infant—they decide to fight for their son in the courts, and win, setting a precedent for all unmarried couples in New Jersey. This book is dramatic proof that the American family is vibrantly alive and extending itself in remarkable new directions.

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Review:

The story of Jon and Michael Galluccio, a gay New Jersey couple, and their fight to adopt their HIV-positive infant foster son, Adam, would sound like the script for a stirring made-for-television movie if the protagonists weren't both men. Complete with controversy, opposition, failures, moments of grace, and an amazing subplot in which Jon seeks out his own birth mother, An American Family is a page-turner, simply and affectingly written. Jon and Michael's first meeting with 3-month-old Adam took place in a run-down nursery filled with "medically fragile" babies whose parents had abandoned them to the state at birth. The frail, drug-addicted Adam was lifted into Michael's arms. Although his file read "Foster Only," the head nurse looked over Jon and Michael and asked, "You're adopting him, right?" Adam would become one of the few, very lucky at-risk children to find a permanent, loving home, and in 1997 the Galluccios would make news as the first unmarried couple in New Jersey to legally adopt a child together. An American Family is inspiring reading for anyone with a child, or whose family doesn't outwardly resemble the Cleavers or the Van Dykes. --Regina Marler

About the Author:

Jon and Michael Galluccio live in Paterson, New Jersey, with their three children Rosa, Adam, and Madison, and granddaughter Maryanna. Their story has been widely followed in the press, with reports in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, as well as on The Rosie O’Donnell Show, Good Morning America, and Larry King Live.

David Groff is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in the Men On Men 2 and Men on Men 2000 fiction anthologies, as well as OUT magazine, New York magazine, POZ, and other periodicals. He lives in New York City.

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Michael Galluccio, Jon Galluccio, David Groff (Contributor)
Published by St. Martin's Griffin (2002)
ISBN 10: 0312288875 ISBN 13: 9780312288877
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