Approval is a powerful meditation on judgment, the adoption process, and fatherhood, told from a perspective rarely explored in fiction: a man's response to a couple's infertility.
Approval follows would-be parents David and Cici through a series of forays into the past as they go through the motions of applying to adopt a child. Their story builds a picture of hope, vulnerability and fear as David is put under intense and intrusive scrutiny during their battle against faceless bureaucracy. From family background and early experiences to adult relationships, he is forced to revisit uncomfortable - sometimes painful - episodes, in the hope of meeting the authority's requirements.
Confronting a lonely, difficult and uncertain path to family life, and raising questions about how much intervention and judgement is necessary for the state to ascertain fitness to parent, Approval ultimately invites the reader to decide.
About the Author
John D Rutter is a writer of literary and short fiction and an academic who teaches, researches, edits and writes primarily on the short story - the subject of his PhD from Edge Hill University. His stories and articles have been published in a variety of anthologies and journals, including in 7 Stories by Edge Hill University for Cheltenham Literature Festival. Approval is his debut novel.