Tag Archives: attachment

January 7, 2011: ‘Practice Babies’: 1 Orphan Raised by 8 Mothers

Adoption’s Dark History: What Happens When a Baby Is Coddled by Many but Bonds With None


Denny Domecon had eight “mothers.” And every six weeks, eight more would take their place; planning his nutritious diet, his naps and tending to his every need.

The 4-month-old was a “practice baby” in 1952 at Cornell University’s home economics program in upstate Ithaca, N.Y., cared for by a group of “practice mothers” — young 22-year-old students — in a “practice apartment.”

Denny’s real identity was anonymous and, like so many other Domecon babies, his surname meant “domestic economy.”

Read the full story here.