Susan Scarf Merrell is the author of the novel A Member of the Family, about a difficult adoption, and The Accidental Bond: How Sibling Connections Influence Adult Relationships. She is at work on a book about the early marriage of the novelist Shirley Jackson and her husband, the literary critic Stanley Edgar Hyman.

Stop blaming the mom who sent her adopted son back to Russia, says Susan Scarf Merrell. The untold story of adoptions is that they fail a lot more often than we'd like to admit.