Love and Genetics: A true story of adoption, surrogacy, and the meaning of family

PORTLAND, OR; March 22, 2022 — When a family secret comes to light, lives are changed forever in this honest, beautiful, and sometimes painful memoir. When Mark, adopted at birth, set out to FIND his genetic family as an adult, he found something he never expected — three full-blood siblings, including a persistent sister who would alter the course of his life. He finds himself faced with the emotional task of coming to know his entire birth family, along with the unintended impact it has on his parents and his marriage. This raises age-old questions around the understanding of his own identity and his place in the world — now framed in extraordinarily real and explicit terms: What defines family? Nature or nurture? Life rarely affords such an opportunity for self-examination.

The story focuses on the relationship that develops between Mark and his sister, Rachel, as they discover each other through constant letters and eventual face-to-face meetings. When Rachel learns that Mark and his wife are struggling with having children, a radical idea takes over — could she, a sister he never knew and still barely knows, one who lives on the other side of the country, possibly carry their child? Would they trust her to? Including original correspondence between Rachel, Mark, and their biological mother, Marilyn, Love & Genetics follows the events of a tumultuous year in an astonishing story of love, loss, and the meaning of family.


Rachel Elliott is a native Canadian who migrated south (like the geese) to escape the cold. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, Brent, and dog, Swagger, and is a proud mom to two grown daughters. She would rather be at the beach than anywhere else and loves to find an adventure. An avid reader, and recreational writer, this is her first published work.

Mark MacDonald lives in Beaverton, Oregon with his wife of twenty-one years, Tina, their two children, Zoe and Alaska, and seemingly countless pets. His day jobs are engineering technology development and education. He is an unabashed science nerd and an avid supporter of women in STEM fields. An author of numerous academic publications and patents, this is his first popular non-fiction work.


Unsolicited Press is a small publisher in Portland, Oregon with a strong focus on poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction that seeks to push the limits of literature. Some authors the team has worked with include John W. Bateman, Amy Shimshon-Santo, Taylor Garcia, and Kadzi Mutizwa. Learn more at Find the press on twitter and instagram: @unsolicitedp.

Love and Genetics is available on March 22, 2022 as a paperback (206 p.; 978–1–950730–90–2) and e-book (all major retailers). The title is distributed to the trade by Ingram Book Group. Publicity is being handled by Mindbuck Media. The authors are open to speaking opportunities, interviews with the media, and readings. Electronic review copies are available upon request.


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Unsolicited Press

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A bold, egalitarian small press in the PNW.

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