A HEARTRENDING AND
of an unlikely journey to
parenthood through America's
broken foster care system.
"A truly revealing work.” – Hillary Clinton
“Mark Daley points out the ways in which structural and systemic forces cause profound inequities, traumas and heartbreak in the foster care system, but most importantly he shows how we can move toward a better future by examining what it means to be a family, and what it means to love. A truly revealing work.” – Hillary Clinton
SOCIAL ACTIVIST, ENTREPRENEUR, AND FOSTER-TURNED-ADOPTIVE FATHER.
Daley has over two decades of experience in message development, communication strategy, and public policy, including as a communications director and spokesperson for then-Senator Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. He has worked with more than thirty members of Congress, numerous governors, and other elected officials. He is the founder of One Iowa, the state’s largest LGBTQ+ equality organization, and TheFosterParent.com, a national platform to connect interested families with foster organizations.
A candid, unforgettable, and often hilarious memoir of two dads daunting quest for fatherhood.
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO KEEP A CHILD SAFE?
At nearly forty years old, Mark Daley was at the top of his game––the owner of a booming business, a roster of celebrity clients, and newly married to Jason, the man of his dreams––but Mark yearned for more, a family. At odds with biology, Jason and Mark flirted with surrogacy before ultimately deciding to strive for adoption through the foster care system. Determined to avoid the tragic fate experienced by members of his family, Mark and Jason skipped into fostering with the gleeful naivety of fairytale heroes.
What does it really take to keep a child safe? Mark thought he had the answer, having grown up with foster-adopted cousins and been an advocate for child welfare agencies. But when Logan and Ethan, an adorable infant and a precocious toddler, entered their lives, Mark quickly realized he and Jason were not remotely prepared for the uncertainty and complications of foster parenting—much less the emotional roller-coaster of knowing that for their family to stay together another family had to break apart.
Seven hundred children enter the foster care system in the United States every day, and thousands more live on the brink. Safe offers a deeply personal window into what happens when the universal longing for family crashes up against the unique madness and bureaucracy of a child protection system that often fails to consider the needs of the most vulnerable parties of all—the children themselves.
Daley takes us on a suspenseful journey as he and Jason grapple with Logan and Ethan’s potential reunification with their biological family, and learn brutal lessons about sacrifice, acceptance, and healing along the way. Daley’s witty, compassionate voice grabs readers from the first page, as he faces the honest, heartrending, and sometimes sidesplitting challenges of parenting and loving children whose future with him hangs in the balance.
“Beautifully told. Mark Daley’s wit and compassion shine in this deeply personal story of love and courage.”
– Huma Abedin, New York Times-bestselling author of Both/And
“A page-turner. Mark shows that courage comes from being willing to show up and be vulnerable when the outcome is out of your control.”
–Justin Baldoni, New York Times-bestselling author of Boys Will Be Human and Man Enough
“Safe is a gripping and unforgettable story told with love, humor, and empathy. Mark Daley courageously welcomes readers into some of the most trying and painful times of his life to shed light on the challenges faced by millions of families across America.”
–Jen Psaki, former White House Press Secretary and host of MSNBC’s Inside with Jen Psaki
“Mark Daley points out the ways in which structural and systemic forces cause profound inequities, traumas and heartbreak in the foster care system, but most importantly he shows how we can move toward a better future by examining what it means to be a family, and what it means to love. A truly revealing work.”
–Hillary Clinton, New York Times-bestselling author of The Book of Gutsy Women
“In my show Wicked, the leading characters tell one another: 'Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.' Mark Daley leads a life that has changed things for the better for so many people. His book Safe continues to do that for parents and children who are struggling and in need of guidance and inspiration. This is an important book.”
– Stephen Schwartz, Musical Theatre Lyricist and Composer
“Part humorous and part heartbreaking, Safe explores more than one gay couple’s journey to parenthood. It shines an unflattering yet necessary light on the country’s broken child protection system, highlighting the cycle hundreds of thousands of young people are currently trapped in. From lack of resources to the impact of systemic racism and social stigma, Mark Daley’s memoir is not just an important read for would-be parents but for policymakers, business leaders, and anyone else concerned about the well-being of our communities.”
–LZ Granderson, Los Angeles Times sports and culture columnist
“A riveting memoir that shows readers the rewards and challenges that accompany the journey to build a family via foster adoption, with a focus on the highs and lows of navigating a complex bureaucracy that is meant to protect children and families but often lets them down...A notably balanced, compassionate [book].”
"A strong indictment of a failed child welfare system, but with an unexpectedly happy ending that speaks to the power of love."
"Daley lets his frustrations with the foster system fly, yet he manages to do so without compromising his strikingly compassionate tone. The result is a gripping and earnest examination of the meaning of family."
- Publishers Weekly