While visiting an art exhibit one day, Gregory Maguire says he stumbled across a painting of, “a person of great compassion circling and enfolding someone who needed help.” He fell in love with the painting, and when he met Andy Newman two weeks later, he fell in love with the artist. Afterwards, Maguire got married in 2004 to his partner, Andy Newman. Their wedding took place just after same-sex marriage was legalized in Massachusetts. Not long afterwards, they adopted three children: Luke and Alex from Cambodia and Helen from Guatemala.
One reason why Gregory in particular felt inclined to adopt, other than the fact that he could not biologically have children with his partner, was because of his challenging childhood. Maguire’s mother died in childbirth, and his husband Andy’s mother died about ten years ago. This background of familial stress made Andy and Gregory want to provide a stable home environment for their children. Some people have spoken out, saying that they believe a household with two dads could potentially cause the same kind of negative stress on a family that living in a single-parent household does. Maguire disagrees. He says that his family operates like any other. He and Newman do all the things that a father and a mother would be traditionally expected to do, from packing school lunches to tucking them in to bed at night. This doesn’t mean that they do not acknowledge that their situation is a unique one. Gregory says that he and Andy encourage family discussions about their situation every now and then. He reminds them that it is okay to talk about being adopted children being raised by two dads. The children love their fathers and say that being adopted children to a homosexual couple is completely normal.
Maguire did a good deal of traveling during his life, from living in London to Dublin to Massachusetts. While he was living in London, he found inspiration to write his most well-known book, Wicked. Maguire had seen and heard so much about Hitler and about young crime in the London area, and it inspired him to reflect on the nature of crime and of evil. This encouraged him to think about one of the iconic evil characters, the Wicked Witch of the West.