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“How I got my sister pregnant with the blessing of her husband, the pastor”

Memoir Release: LOVE & GENETICS – A True Story of Adoption, Surrogacy, and the Meaning of Family


PORTLAND, Ore. — When a family secret comes to light, lives are changed forever in this honest, beautiful, and sometimes painful memoir. Mark MacDonald and Rachel Elliott are two full siblings who never knew about the other until adulthood, as Mark was given up for adoption at birth. Love & Genetics is their combined memoir that speaks to their experiences rediscovering family and building a new one, as Mark and his wife were unable to conceive and so Rachel (the wife of a pastor) gave them the wonderful gift of being their surrogate, giving them twin daughters, and starting a new precedent for maternity in surrogate cases in the state of Oregon based on the biological mother rather than the surrogate herself. 

Love & Genetics focuses on the relationship that develops between Mark and his sister, Rachel, as they discover each other through letters, emails, and eventual face-to-face meetings. When Rachel’s 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?—both sides learn to trust and love more than they ever thought possible. Including original correspondence between Rachel, Mark, and their biological mother, Marilyn, Love & Genetics gives insight into this astounding personal tale of adoption, surrogacy, and the true meaning of family.

Love & Genetics gives insight into this astounding personal tale of adoption, surrogacy, and the true meaning of family.

Siblings Mark & Rachel received international coverage following their feature with the BBC on March 8, 2022, with other features to come from major media outlets. They are both available for interviews.

Co-author Mark MacDonald lives in Beaverton, Oregon. He is an Adjunct Professor at Portland State University and a Principal Engineer at Intel Corporation and has authored more than forty scientific publications, for which he has received multiple awards, including the Martin Hirschorn Best Paper Prize from the International Acoustics Congress (2010).

Co-author Rachel Elliott grew up in the prairies of Alberta, Canada, yet somehow (miraculously) finds herself living outside of Raleigh, North Carolina, and became a US citizen in 2016. She works in mortgage lending and is a voracious reader.

Love & Genetics is set to be released on March 22, 2022 with Portland, Oregon’s Unsolicited Press. Join them for a virtual launch party with Portland’s Annie Bloom’s Books at 5 pm PST: https://www.annieblooms.com/event/livestream-reading-mark-macdonald-and-rachel-elliott.

SOURCE Mark MacDonald and Rachel Elliott

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