THIS CHILD IS MINE by Henry Denker


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The author of many novels with a backyard coziness and an upfront sentiment (Labyrinth, 1994, etc. etc.) here takes on another current headline concern -- namely, a custody fight in which natural parents go to court to regain their child legally adopted at birth by another devoted couple equally determined not to lose him. Midwesterners Christine and Bill Salem, grieving parents of a baby who died of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), eventually consider adoption when they can't seem to have another child of their own. They're interviewed, not only by social workers but by a pregnant young woman looking for the best parents for the baby she plans to give up. Aspiring actress Lori Adams left Manhattan and the child's father, actor Brett Manning, although they loved each other and he'd proposed marriage. Why? To save him from the burden of supporting a family so he could press on with his career. After this noble split (Lori leaves no forwarding address), Brett makes it big in a soap, while Lori's baby is born and adopted by the Salems. Finally, Brett tracks down Lori; the two marry; and now both want the baby back. Meanwhile, the Salem household, with adopted Scotty and a new baby on the way, has been a happy one -- until the lawsuit is announced. When Scotty is two-and-a-half, then, Judge Judson Hart (the epitome of judicial virtue) hears both parties petition through their lawyers -- one slow and elderly, the other a sharpster -- and also hears another young lawyer representing the previously unrepresented Scotty. In spite of the constant buzz of publicity (thanks to soap-star Brett), the judge will be moved by advice that is very close to home. A grabby title and, alas, an all too familiar subject -- the law and the needs of a child -- handled with ease and without undue cerebration.
Pub Date: May 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0708989292
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1995


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