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Jack F. Rocco, M.D.

Jack Rocco M.D. is author of Recycled, which chronicles the behind-the-scenes, reluctant, and subconscious journey exploring the impact of being relinquished and adopted during the baby-scoop era of the mid-sixties. As he eventually finds his birth families, he also finds himself. He is a practicing orthopedic surgeon and lives outside Charlotte, North Carolina.

Recycled: A Reluctant Search for True Self Through Nurture, Nature, and Free Will is Jack’s first book. 

Jack F. Rocco, M.D.

Jack Rocco M.D. has more than thirty years as a practicing orthopedic surgeon. His work has taken him to many countries and cultures, including to Japan, where he served in the U.S. Air Force, and to Madagascar, where, through a nonprofit organization he established, he treated children suffering primarily from clubfoot. He has served on the board at Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia.

Recycled, his first book, chronicles the behind-the-scenes, reluctant, and subconscious journey exploring the impact of being relinquished and adopted during the baby-scoop era of the mid-sixties. As he eventually finds his birth families, he also finds himself. He lives outside Charlotte, North Carolina.

Recycled: A Reluctant Search for True Self Through Nurture, Nature, and Free Will is Jack’s first book.

He didn’t look like anyone else in his family. He didn’t share expressions with any of them. He became a master chameleon to try to fit in, never quite feeling like he did.

Jack Rocco is one of the more than two million babies born in the 1960s who were taken away from their birth mothers and sent to live with an adoptive family. He was adopted by a blue-collar, Italian American family. Jack’s identity was built around his Italian heritage and while he knew the story of his “Gotday,” he didn’t know the story of his “birth day.” His was a closed adoption, and all he knew was that his birth parents were a young couple—an Italian father and a German Irish mother—who couldn’t afford to raise a child.

He was also one of the lucky ones. On the outside, it appeared that Dr. Rocco had weathered the adoption phenomenon with ease: he had a successful career as an orthopedic surgeon, a nice home, a beautiful wife and two children, and he traveled the world helping children in faraway places like Madagascar. But then his marriage broke down and the pandemic hit and he began to question everything.


Turns out he didn’t know the truth.

In Recycled, Dr. Rocco shares his journey of discovering that the birth story he's been told and his belief about closed adoptions—that there's no way to obtain details—might not be true. He devours books about adoption and adoption trauma. He tries to follow the long and twisted tentacles of nurture, nature, and free will—which parts of him were due to genetics? The nurturing environment of his adoptive home? And which parts did he have control over?

As some of the puzzle pieces of his life click into place, others remain disconnected and swirling out of reach. And then, he makes a discovery that shatters his very self-identity.

"The nature, nurture, or free will questions are more than intellectual exercises for me. They’re personal."

American Book Fest, Health: Aging/50+

Recycled

Nature, Nurture, and Free Will Through the Mind of an Adoptee

By Jack F. Rocco MD


It’s one of the most thrilling, shocking, yet hopeful books about hidden identity and self-discovery you’ll read this year. 

Rocco's grandfather coined the term “recycled children.” Recycled is for those directly involved in adoption—adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth parents—and it’s also for anybody wanting insight into the impact that early maternal and cultural separation has on a child.

Dr. Rocco graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Behavioral Neuroscience in 1988, and earned his medical degree from Temple University in 1992. He completed his five-year residency in orthopedics in 1997. He has an established practice in Charlotte, N.C. He has chartered medical missions to Madagascar where, through a nonprofit organization he established, he treated children suffering primarily from clubfoot. He has served on the board at Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia.

He's the proud father of two teenage children who live with their mother in Rhode Island.

Dr. Rocco in the Media


Available for pre-order now 

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