Nothing ever before written about adoption can prepare the reader for the revelations in this book. With the precision of a forensic psychologist in a coutroom drama, David Kirschner sheds light on a dark subject - adoptees who kill: David Berkowitz (Son of Sam), Joel Rifkin (serial killer of 17 women), Steve Catlin (serial wife and mother killer), Jeremy Strohmeyer (the "casino" killer) and parricides Patrick DeGelleke, Matthew Heikkila and Patrick Niiranen.

All were adopted, all obsessed with fantasies of their birth mothers, all raised with secrets and lies, all blocked and frustrated in their searches by a closed adoption system - before they killed. Exploring issues of abandonment, rejection, bonding, and birth-parent fantasies, Kirschner, known for his concept of the Adopted Child Syndrome (ACS), presents compelling evidence for the healing power of honesty and openness. In this fascinating, personal narrative, he explains why these tragedies need not have occurred. With twenty-five million Americans directly touched by adoption, and the hot button issue of sealed records before the courts of many states, adoption gone wrong is an issue that effects all of us.

ADOPTION: UNCHARTED WATERS is not a condemnation of adoption. Leaving behind the political, financial and intensely personal agendas that have muddied so much human and clinical truth about adoption, Dr. Kirschner keeps his focus on the best interests of the adopted child. With insights gained from these sobering case histories, he explains what can be done to minimize risk and prevent problems, and offers numerous suggestions for raising healthy and happy adopted children - children with a positive sense of self and identity, children with a conscience, children who can trust and love.

"In these extreme cases, the split, false, secret self described by many adoption experts had evolved into a more malignant, clinical dissociative identity disorder (aka multiple personality disorder). This book is about the lives of these people. While it is about evil acts; it is also about loss, abandonment, rejection, pain, and the search for one's self and identity. It is ultimately a book about love, and how the most basic human need for bonding can sometimes evolve into a fatal quest. Although only a subset of adoptees are at risk for clinical problems, and just a small percent of these are prone to violence, we can learn much from the few who kill." - David Kirschner, Adoption: Uncharted Waters

ADOPTION: UNCHARTED WATERS, an important contribution to adoption literature, shows what we must learn from adoptions gone wrong, and how not to raise an adopted child. This book is essential reading for adoptees and their adoptive and birth families, mental health professionals, criminal justice personnel, and any other reader who wants or needs to know about this part of the human experience.