The Martian Child

Basis for the major motion picture from New Line Cinema — starring John Cusack, Amanda Peet, and Joan Cusack — in theaters November 2007

When David Gerrold decided he wanted to adopt a son, he thought he had prepared himself for fatherhood. But eight-year-old Dennis turned out to be more than he expected — a lot more. Dennis suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome, the son of a substance abuser and alcoholic who abandoned him in a seedy motel at the age of one-and-a-half. His father died of an overdose. Seized by the state, Dennis was shuffled between eight different foster homes in less than eight years. He was abused and beaten severely in at least two of his placements. Dennis was diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and put on Ritalin and then Disipramine. He was prone to violent emotional outbursts. His case history identified him as “hard to place” — a euphemism for “unadoptable.” But for David Gerrold it was love at first sight…

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