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In PopDaddy, A Gay Couple Tries to Adopt in 2001 Texas

In PopDaddy, A Gay Couple Tries to Adopt in 2001 Texas


The new memoir from Southern writer Jeffrey Roach recounts the harrowing, hilarious, tale of how he and his partner started a family in one of the unlikeliest places. Read an except of PopDaddy here.

November 2001. Jackson has been placed with Ken and Jeffrey, but there is still a lot of work to be done before he comes home permanently. The boys have set up a meeting with a lawyer in Dallas to see what they can do to protect Jeffrey's legal interest in their son, since Ken is the single adoptive parent.

After years of watching L.A. Law and Ally McBeal, Sylvia was a little bit of a let down. I don't know what I was expecting, but she definitely wasn't it. There was no power suit or asymmetrical haircut with highlights. In fact, Sylvia was borderline frumpy and dressed a bit like a ranch hand.

After such a cute office and an adorable receptionist, I was expecting more. She must have noticed my surprised look because she shrugged her shoulders and said, "Leif is the beauty and I'm the brains." Then she smiled and the smile lit up her entire face. The smile took her from out-of-work ranch hand struggling with addiction to gainfully employed ranch hand with a heart of gold.

"Have a seat, boys, and let's talk."

Two hours later, Sylvia was still talking. I wondered if we were paying for this by the word. Despite my promise to Ken, I didn't keep my mouth shut, or at least I tried not to. But every time I would interrupt, Sylvia would shut me down and talk even harder. If I hadn't been so annoyed I would have been impressed.

The worst part was that, after all those endless sentences, I didn't know any more than I did when we walked in. I glanced over at Ken, who seemed not only to be paying attention, but also to understand every word she was saying. I was starting to think that I was the Leif in our relationship.

"So while there's not much we can do to establish Jeffrey as Jackson's second father, there's plenty we can do to protect his rights and access to him. When we are finally allowed to marry, this will be a moot point."


"When?" I said. "Don't you mean if?" The idea of two guys getting married seemed pretty far-fetched to me in general and especially far-fetched in Texas.

"It will happen," she said with complete conviction. "Maybe not this year, or even in the next ten years. But eventually I believe marriage between two men or two women will be recognized as the law of the land."

"Wow," I said. I'd never really thought about Ken and I being able to get married like normal folks do. But the way she said it caused my heart to beat a little faster. What would it be like to actually marry the man I had been living with for over ten years?

"Now the church," she continued with a little chuckle, "well, that's a whole other enchilada."

"You can keep the church," I said. "Just make it legal and we'll be the first two down the aisle."

"Hell yes. I like your spirit. I thought I lost you there for a minute, but it seems you are back." I gave her a sheepish smile and decided to make an effort to try to pay closer attention to the rest of the meeting.

"In any case, those are my recommendations. Does that make sense to both of you?" she asked. It looked like paying attention for the rest of the meeting was going to be a snap.

Excerpted from PopDaddy, courtesy of PopDaddy Press.

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