Federal trial court judges spend plenty of time writing opinions, but, as of the beginning of the summer, U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore (pictured) of the Southern District in Houston also has three published books to her name.
The first two revolved around her life on the bench. “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up: Tales From a Judicial Diva” is Gilmore’s autobiography, and “A Boy Named Rocky” is a book for the children of incarcerated parents. Her latest concerns a matter close to her heart: adoption.
“I’ll have to admit that I was motivated by the fact that I have an adopted son,” Gilmore says. “It is a story about adoption, but I didn’t want to write my son’s story, so I choose to write a fiction novel.”
“Saving the Dream” tells the story of an adopted child, his two mothers and the life he might have had with each of them. Gilmore, who then-President Bill Clinton nominated to the bench in 1994, adopted her son in 2001 when he was 6 months old. He’s now 11 years old, and she describes him as “a happy camper and a big-time football player.”
“I want people to think about adoption. People will spend tens of thousands of dollars on fertility treatments when there are children out there that want a parent and need a parent,” Gilmore says. “And, also, I think that adoption is something for single people to consider. I was single when I adopted my son, and I’m still single. People think they are not going to be able to adopt when they are single, and that’s not true.”
— John Council