elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,
elisa_rolle
elisa_rolle

Jon & Michael Galluccio

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

Jon and Michael Galluccio, married for more than 30 years, live in North Haledon, with two of their three children (Rosa, Adam, and Madison). They have also three grandchildren. 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.

In 1997, the ACLU-NJ took on the case of Jon Holden and Michael Galluccio, a gay couple fighting to adopt their two-year-old foster son. They won the case, and New Jersey consequently became the first state to grant equal standing to gay and lesbian couples seeking to adopt.


Photo Credit: Mike Derer, Associated Press
Written by two gay men whose court challenge helped rewrite New Jersey law to allow joint adoption by unmarried couples, An American Family explores the emotional, psychological and legal battles they faced when dealing with issues of foster care, adoption and social intolerance. Together from 1979, in 1995 they became foster parents of Adam. In 1997, they won the case, and New Jersey consequently became the first state to grant equal standing to gay and lesbian couples seeking to adopt.



Further Readings:

An American Family by Michael Galluccio
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (March 20, 2002)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312288875
ISBN-13: 978-0312288877
Amazon: An American Family

Written by two gay men whose court challenge helped rewrite New Jersey law to allow joint adoption by unmarried couples, this moving, often funny and sometimes quite poignant memoir explores the emotional, psychological and legal battles that gay couples (and unmarried heterosexual couples) often face when dealing with issues of foster care, adoption and social intolerance. In 1995, Michael Galluccio and Jon Holden, who had been partners for 16 years, became foster parents to Adam, an HIV+ infant who was also addicted to heroin, cocaine and alcohol. After they nursed him through his first years, their desire to adopt him was thwarted by state law that did not allow gay (and unmarried straight) couples to co-adopt. The story of how they won their case is only one thread of this engrossing story, for during this time the Galluccios (Jon changed his last name so that their son would have a single name ) also took into foster care and then adopted another at-risk infant as well as that child's 18-year-old sister, who was pregnant. By the end of the book, the Gallucios have become the parents of three children and grandfathers to one. Concurrently, Jon, who was himself adopted, tells the story of his search for his biological mother. Written in a direct, compelling style, the Galluccios' story offers an engaging glimpse into the increasingly complex institution of the family, and should appeal to those who have been touched by adoption, as well as to gay and lesbian readers.

More Spotlights at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Lists/Gay Novels

More Real Life Romances at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance


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