The Ginger Child
A raw and heart-wrenching literary memoir about a queer couple’s attempt to adopt a child.
But would you take a ginger child? a social worker asks Patrick Flanery as he and his husband embark on their four-year odyssey of trying to adopt. This curious question comes to haunt the journey, which Flanery recounts with startling candour as he explores what it means to make a family as a queer couple, to be an outsider in a foreign country, to grapple with the inheritance of intergenerational loss, and to discover that the emotions we feel are sometimes as mysterious to ourselves as to others.
This uniquely powerful book moves deftly between heartbreaking memoir and illuminating meditation on parenting, adoption and queerness in contemporary culture, stopping along the way to consider recent science fiction film, camp horror television, fiction and visual art. At the end, which could also be the beginning of a new journey, Flanery asks whether we might all imagine ourselves as ginger children-fragile, sensitive, more easily hurt than we think possible, but with the hope that we are also survivors, with greater powers of resilience than we know.