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  • Little, Brown
  • Little, Brown
  • Little, Brown

Tales from the Fatherland: Two Dads, One Adoption and the Meaning of Parenthood

Ben Fergusson

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Memoirs

A story of adoption, queer parenting and gender expectations around family roles.

A pause. 'Ah, Herr Fergusson. It's Frau Schwenk.' Our social worker, I now understood. 'Thank you for getting back to me. I'm calling because we have a little boy, four weeks old, who needs a family.'

In 2018, after the introduction of marriage equality in Germany, Ben Fergusson and his German husband Tom became one of the first same-sex married couples to adopt in the country. In Tales from the Fatherland Fergusson reflects on his long journey to fatherhood and the social changes that enabled it. He uses his outsider status as both a gay father and a parent adopting in a foreign country to explore the history and sociology of fatherhood and motherhood around the world, queer parenting and adoption and, ultimately, the meaning of family and love.

Tales from the Fatherland makes an impassioned case for the value of diversity in family life, arguing that diverse families are good for all families and that misogyny lies at the heart of many of the struggles of straight and queer families alike.

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Ben Fergusson

Ben Fergusson's debut novel, The Spring of Kasper Meier, was awarded the Betty Trask Prize and the HWA Debut Crown, and was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award. The Other Hoffmann Sister and An Honest Man complete a trilogy of novels set in the same apartment block in Berlin at key moments in the city's twentieth-century history. His short fiction has been published in journals internationally and in 2020 he won the Sean O'Faolain International Short Story Prize. He also translates from German, winning a 2020 Stephen Spender Prize for poetry in translation. Ben lives in Berlin with his husband and son.

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