March 02, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST

After an ickily earnest start, Jon and Michael Galluccio’s account of their legal battle — as an upstanding, churchgoing gay couple living in New Jersey — to jointly adopt several ”special needs” foster children gradually wins you over. While Michael vows ”to deliver on the promise every Italian-American son makes to his family — providing grandchildren,” Jon, himself an adopted child, becomes fixated on tracking down his own birth parents. Some stereotypical scenes, like Jon dancing with his baby to a recording of Judy Garland live at Carnegie Hall, are allayed by the Galluccios’ heartening clearheadedness in the face of hostility from the religious right (including Jerry Falwell himself), their own families, and even the gay community. BCharles Winecoff

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