There are a bunch of celebrities who’ve gone down the adoption route. Whether they struggled with fertility issues or simply wanted a child who needed a home, they’ve opened themselves up to kids who aren’t biologically theirs. And not all of them have been so public about it over the years.
That’s why we’re revealing which stars have embraced an adopted child into their family. And the best news is that everyone’s lives are all the better because of it. Take a look at which household names have been quietly raising adopted children and how it’s been going for them.
Kristin Davis Makes Sure Her Kids Have Access to the Black Community
Actress Kristin David was a first-time mom in 2011 when she adopted her daughter Gemma Rose. She was 46 years old at the time, but age wasn’t going to stop her. In 2018, she adopted her son Wilson and raises them both together as a single mom in Brentwood, Los Angeles.
“One of my big issues was could I do it by myself?” she admitted on an episode of Jada Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk. Once she’d figured out that she could and successfully adopted, she started to understand better the other challenges she would face: “Because my children are African-American, I feel like it’s my duty and my job to do as much research, as much work, build as many bridges as possible…”
Madonna Passed on Her Passion for Fashion to Her Androgynous Son David
Popstar Madonna is a mother of six, having adopted four children over the years from Malawi. Her first adopted child was David Banda, pictured, who’s now 15 years old. He caused quite a storm recently when he was filmed wearing a couture dress and strutting around his house.
David was wearing a figure-hugging white silk gown from Mae Couture, and he was definitely feeling himself. “I low-key like wearing – like, it’s so freeing, you know what I mean?” he can be overheard saying. He’s obviously picked up a flair for fashion like his mamma, who he’s been with since 2006.
Mariska Hargitay Has a Perfectly Happy, Joyful, and Chaotic Family
Actress Mariska Hargitay had given both to her eldest son before adopting two girls. And only four months after the final adoption, she was in the hospital giving birth to her youngest. She was married to actor Peter Hermann and had already experienced living in an unconventional family. “Having lost my mom at a young age, I then grew up with my stepmom, and I have half-siblings,” she told People magazine.
“So I know that families can be built in all sorts of different ways, that there isn’t just one way to create a family, and that it isn’t just about biology,” she explained. Best of all, they complete each other. “Our family is so perfect, or at least perfect for me. Together we’re just this whole, happy, joyful, chaotic, crazy unit. I’ve never known anything that was more right.”
Jamie Lee Curtis Couldn’t Be More Proud of Her Daughter For Transitioning
Actress and writer Jamie Lee Curtis and her husband Christopher Guest adopted two kids into their family after struggling with fertility issues. Their oldest was Annie, who they adopted in 1986: “With Annie, I had sought her out. I have no idea how our son came to us… a set of circumstances occurred, all of which were celestial.”
Their youngest child who was formerly known as Thomas came out as trans in the summer of 2021, and Jamie and Christopher couldn’t be happier. She stated how they “have watched in wonder and pride as our son became our daughter Ruby.” And now they’re 25 and all grown up and planning to get married in 2022.
Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise Are Parents to Scientologist Kids
Actors Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise were married to each other for the entirety of the 90s. “From the minute Tom and I were married, I wanted to have babies,” Nicole once stated, adding “We lost a baby early on, so that was really very traumatic.” They ended up adopting two children, Isabella and Connor, who are now both in their twenties and are practicing Scientologists just like their dad.
Nicole famously is not involved with Scientology, but respects her children’s choices: “They are adults. They are able to make their own decisions. They have made choices to be Scientologists and as a mother, it’s my job to love them.” Still, both Nicole and Tom are extremely private about their lives as adopted parents, and their relationship with their kids.
Connie Britton’s Curious Son Encourages Her To Open Up Aswell
Actress and singer Connie Britton didn’t have any children when she adopted Eyob (also known as Yoby) from Ethiopia. It was 2011, and she was a first-time mom just learning the ropes. Connie was just starting to film the series Nashville and had only just moved to Tennessee.
But Connie had to wait three years until she was able to adopt. “My son is adopted from Ethiopia so I always say I can take very little credit, but he, from the beginning, just inherently has had such an open and curious heart and love of life,” she told People magazine in 2017. “He’s very into learning and seeing what’s happening and seeing what people are doing. I just love that about him. And it immediately opens me up as well.”
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s Little Girl Is Now 16 Years Old
Actors Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt famously adopted three international children out of their brood of six. Their only adopted daughter is Zahara Marley, pictured below, who was six months old at the time she was taken in by the famous family. Up until then, she had been living in an orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Zahara was actually first adopted by Angelina, and later by Brad. Now she’s 16 years old and growing into a beautiful woman with her own style. And from the looks of it, the mom and daughter are super close. They’re always pictured hanging out together while Angelina’s off-duty, or else Zahara accompanies her mom to red carpet events.
Jillian Michaels Adopted Her Daughter Two Days After the Birth of Her Son
TV personality and personal trainer Jillian Michaels didn’t waste any time. Her fiancee at the time was Heidi Rhoades, pictured on the right, and Heidi had just given birth to their son Phoenix. Only two days later, she brought two-year-old Lukensia with her from Haiti and welcomed her into the family.
“Every child deserves a family,” Jillian later stated, adding “This is why I felt very strongly about making sure that adoption was one avenue we pursued in building our family.” They struggled at first as an LGBTQ+ couple, but things have been getting better in recent years: “At this point now it is legal in all states of America. I think love wins once again.”
Meg Ryan Can’t Imagine What Life Was Like Before Daisy
Actress Meg Ryan already had a son with her ex-husband Dennis Quaid when she decided to adopt a child. In 2006, she became a single mom to a 14-month-old Chinese girl and called her Daisy True. And Meg was adamant that she wanted her little girl to grow up out of the spotlight.
But as we can see, now Daisy is almost all grown up! She’s 17 years old and from the sounds of it, super chilled out: “Daisy doesn’t feel hard. She doesn’t feel like… there’s no sweat on it, man,” Meg recently revealed. “She’s very smart and she’s very generous. I love that she’s funny. I love that. I just can’t imagine what it was like before she came.” To top it all off, she gets on amazingly with her big brother: “All of us fit together beautifully.”
Hoda Kotb Could Feel That Joy Was Waiting For Her
NBC News co-anchor Hoda Kotb walked on to Today in February 2017 to share her happy news with her viewers. She had adopted a baby girl called Haley Joy (pictured below) at 52 years of age, after having patiently waited. “I feel like if you’re meant to have a child in your life, your child is out there,” she explained the following year.
Hoda added: “They said to me at the adoption agency, ‘Don’t worry, your child is out there waiting for you.’ And I remember I would scribble in my journal, ‘I know you’re there.’ I could feel her.” Becoming a mother has brought her so much joy, she decided to adopt another baby girl in 2019 and named her Hope.
Michelle Pfeiffer Met Her Husband While She Was Applying To Adopt
Actress Michelle Pfeiffer adopted newborn baby girl Claudia Rose in 1993, a few short months before she married David E. Kelley. She was in her mid-thirties and recently divorced, but that wasn’t going to stop her from being a mother. In 1994 she gave birth to her and David’s biological son John, and the four of them have been loving family life ever since.
The way Michelle saw it she “wasn’t going to not have children because I wasn’t married.” But that doesn’t mean she didn’t feel anxious about telling David during their dating stage: “I was nervous about telling him, but I thought: ‘This will separate the men from the boys.'” And it certainly did. Now they’ve been married for almost 30 years and they have a gorgeous happy family.
Thomas Rhett and His Wife Were Expecting When They Were In the Adoption Process
Country singer Thomas Rhett adopted the most precious baby girl from Uganda with his wife Lauren, back in 2015. But the most amazing thing was that Lauren was already pregnant by the time she was legally adopted! The young couple had struggled with fertility issues before they embraced adoption.
In hindsight, it was the best thing that could ever happen to them. Lauren recalled: “All orphans have heart-wrenching stories, but it felt like this specific baby was ours.” In their eyes, everything happens for a reason. “I think that the Lord knew what he was doing when he did not let us get pregnant.”
Julie Andrews Adopted Two Orphaned Babies During the Vietnam War
Actress Julie Andrews went through the adoption process back in the seventies, while she was still married to the actor and director Blake Edwards. Together, they adopted two girls from an orphanage in Vietnam during the war, Amy Leigh and Joanna Lynne, while they were just a few months old. Julie already had a biological daughter from her first husband, and she had also become a step-mom to Blake’s two kids from a previous marriage.
It was quite the full house but motherhood was also her most important role: “As a mother, my children have always come first.” But it definitely wasn’t easy, as Julie recalled having “to make a proper protein breakfast for them before school in the morning. To go to parent-teacher interviews. It is important. I do admire women who manage to do both.”
Steven Spielberg’s Daughter Is Working in the Adult Film Industry
Director and producer Steven Spielberg has a total of seven children with his wife Kate Capshaw, having adopted two of them several years ago. His son Theo was adopted in the late 80s while his daughter Mikaela (pictured) was born in 1996. She’s garnered a lot of media attention lately for her controversial career choice as an “online adult entertainer.”
Which has had the public wondering how her parents feel about it. She claims they’re “not upset,” and explains how “I got really tired of not being able to capitalize on my body. I feel like doing this kind of work, I’m able to ‘satisfy’ other people, but that feels good because it’s not in a way that makes me feel violated.” And essentially, she enjoys how her job makes her less dependant on her parents.
Hugh Jackman Always Knew That He Wanted To Adopt One Day
Actor Hugh Jackman and his wife Deborra had been pregnant with a baby on two separate occasions, and both times the pregnancy took a turn for the worse. Deborra was a lot older than Hugh at the time, and it wasn’t easy. After that, they decided to adopt Oscar and Ava and have never looked back. “Deb and I always wanted to adopt,” Hugh later admitted.
He continued: “We didn’t know where in the process that would happen but biologically obviously, we tried and it was not happening for us…” Their kids don’t look like them, and it doesn’t bother them one bit. “It doesn’t matter if your hair is straight or curly, if you’re tall or short, man or woman, what race you are… What defines you as a human is underneath all that.”
Viola Davis Experiences Motherhood to the Fullest With Her Teenage Daughter
Actress and producer Viola Davis was already a stepmom to two beautiful girls – her husband Julius Tennon’s daughters from a previous marriage. They’d been married since 2003, but in 2011 they decided to adopt a young girl into their family. Pictured below, Viola poses with her now-teenage daughter, Genesis.
“I always tell Genesis she was born from my heart, not my belly,” Viola told InStyle magazine in 2015. And as far as she’s concerned, she’s not missing out on anything having gone down the adoption route: “There are so many ways to mother rather than to carry a child in your body. Know that you will experience motherhood to the full extent.”
Sharon Stone Got the Big Family That She’d Always Dreamed of
Actress Sharon Stone always wanted a big family but wasn’t able to give birth by natural means due to health issues. Now she has three sons, having adopted them in 2000, 2005, and 2006, and raises them as a single mother in West Hollywood. She’s clearly doing a great job, as her sons had some kind words to say during an award ceremony.
Sharon was at the receiving end of the Mother of the Year Award for a Mother’s Day Luncheon in 2017, and her boys got up on stage to say: “My mother deserves this award. I love you mom… She is loving, caring, and a great person.” When it was time for Sharon to some words, she told the audience, “I’m grateful my kids chose me, I am a lucky mom.”
Sandra Bullock’s Secret Son Influenced Her To Adopt a Baby Sister
Actress Sandra Bullock first entered the adoption process while in the middle of a messy divorce from her cheating ex-husband Jesse James. She kept it a secret at first, and it took a long time. But in 2010 her wish came true when she became a mom to Louis Bardo. Even though she was a single mom, she was happier than ever.
“Being a mom, I finally realize, ‘Oh this is what I was supposed to do when I grew up,'” she told People magazine. That same feeling led her to adopt another child in need of a home, and in 2015 she adopted Laila. Amazingly, she credits her son for having planted the thought of adopting again in her head: “I realized at that time, maybe he knew something. And when I think about it, it would have been around the time that Laila was born.”
Lionel Richie Spoiled Nicole During His Messy Divorce
Singer Lionel Richie adopted socialite Nicole Richie with his then-wife Brenda when Nicole was three years old. Her biological parents were going through money struggles and were close to the famous couple: “My parents were friends with Lionel. They trusted that they would be more able to provide for me,” Nicole told People in 2003.
The Ritchies weren’t just doing their friends a favor, however, and they raised Nicole like she was their own biological child right from the start. In fact, Nicole wasn’t even legally adopted by them until she was nine years old. They were going through a divorce by the time Nicole was 10, and couldn’t help but spoil her: “Their way of making me happy was to say, ‘yes,’ to everything I wanted.”
Katherine Heigl’s Adopted Sister Led Her Down the Adoption Path
Actress Katherine Heigl grew up with an adopted sister, so she knew firsthand how fulfilling it could be. She adopted Nancy from South Korea, the same birthplace as her sister, but there were complications. Nancy was born with a heart defect and had to undergo open-heart surgery before leaving for America.
Luckily, everything went well, and the actress adopted another girl called Adalaide three years later. “Does love for a child come through DNA? I knew it didn’t. My mother had biological children and an adopted child and said it made absolutely no difference,” Katherine once stated. Now she knows through first-hand experience that her mother was right, as she has since given birth to a son with her husband, singer Josh Kelley.
Diane Keaton Only Wanted To Have Children After She Turned 50
Actress Diane Keaton has had several high-profile relationships but has never chosen to marry. In 2001 she stated: “I don’t think that because I’m not married it’s made my life any less. That old maid myth is garbage,” and we love to hear it. She did adopt two kids however in 1996 and 2001, following her father’s death.
The personal tragedy gave her the desire to become a mom at 50 years old, and it was entirely the right decision for her. “Motherhood has completely changed me. It’s just about the most completely humbling experience that I’ve ever had,” she has explained. According to her, children are “completely challenging and completely intoxicating.”
Ewan McGregor’s Youngest Daughter Isn’t the Youngest Anymore
Actor Ewan McGregor and his ex-wife Eve Mavrakis have four beautiful children together. They adopted one of them, called Jayman, from Mongolia back in 2006, who was an orphan at the time. She was only four years old when she was adopted and was welcomed into their family as their youngest child.
But now, Jayman is 20 years old and no longer the youngest in the McGregor household. Ewan and his current wife, actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead, welcomed their baby boy in the summer, to which Jayman had this to say: “Our little man, Little Laurie, a wonderful bundle of joy came into the world on June 25.”
Denise Richards Didn’t Wait Around For Mr. Right When She Wanted To Expand Her Family
Actress Denise Richards has two biological children with her ex, actor Charlie Sheen. When she became a single mom she decided to adopt another child into her family – baby Eloise. She told People magazine: “I felt like I wasn’t done having children, and I’ve always wanted to have a large family.”
Denise continued: “And so after my divorce, I felt like, ‘Oh well, I’m sure I’ll soon enough get remarried and have my family [grow]’, and that wasn’t in the cards at the time, so I decided to expand my family on my own.” Now she’s happily loved up with Aaron Phypers, and also has the family of her dreams.
Calista Flockhart’s Adoped Son Was Later Adopted By Her Husband Too
Actress Calista Flockhart had been dating actor and now-husband Harrison Ford since 2002, and they’ve been going strong ever since. But before she met him in 2001 she had adopted a boy called Liam, who had been with the Ally McBeal actress since his birth. Harrison already had four other biological kids from previous relationships.
But when things got serious between Calista and Harrison, the Blade Runner actor adopted Liam officially as well. Liam’s 20 years old now and studying at a liberal arts college, leaving mom and dad at home. Even though he’s got four other half-siblings, he’s Calista’s only child.
Cate Blanchett Had Been Talking About Adoption For Years
Actress Cate Blanchett had given birth to three boys before she went down the adoption route. She adopted her only daughter, Edith Vivian Patricia, back in 2015 after considering it for a long time. She told Vogue magazine: “We’ve been talking about [adopting a child] since our first son was born.”
Cate admitted that it was a totally new experience for her: “We got a phone call earlier this year and we adopted a little girl. You’re on the list and then you get the call… You don’t know anything about the child you’re going to meet.”
Kimora Lee Simmons Adopted a 10 Year Old Boy Just Before the Pandemic
Fashion designer and TV personality Kimora Lee Simmons already had a sizeable brood by the time she entered into the adoption process. It was January 2020 when she adopted Gary Lee, pictured, who was ten years old at the time. Since then she’s been a mom to five kids total.
And it seems their family hasn’t been experiencing any sort of difficult transition period: “I’m blessed and super fortunate to have a boy like him and it’s been a very painless sensation. He just dropped in like he was born there.” Adoption had been at the back of her mind for a long time before Gary appeared in her life.
Jen Lilley Brought Their first Adopted Son’s Biological Brother Home
Actress Jen Lilley opted to adopt Jeffrey at two years of age after he had been in the foster care system for 846 days. Jeffrey is the half-brother of the couple’s first adopted son, Kayden, who is two years his senior. Aside from their boys, they have one biological daughter called Julie Evangeline.
Julie is their youngest, but they love their middle child all the same. When they adopted Jeffrey in 2020 they wrote online: “Christmas came early this year… Words cannot express how much I love this little one. Biologically, he’s Kayden’s half brother, but as Jason said so beautifully, ‘Today, we made them full brothers.'”
Rosie O’Donnell’s Kids Are Now All In Their Twenties
Comedian and TV personality Rosie O’Donnell adopted Parker Jaren in 1995, making herself a single parent. But even though she didn’t give birth to her son, she still struggled during those difficult first few months, as she revealed in an interview with People magazine. Later, she adopted two more kids and had another one via artificial insemination.
“I was surprised that a human being can function on as little sleep as I did for the first three months,” Rosie explained, adding that “I was surprised to wake up every two hours, ’cause that is how they torture people in other countries!” Pictured, Rosie poses with one of her adopted kids, Chelsea Belle.
Nia Vardalos Experienced 13 Cycles of IVF Treatment Before Deciding To Adopt
Actress Nia Vardalos was struggling to get pregnant and turned to IVF, but that didn’t lead to success. She underwent 13 cycles of treatment before she decided to look into adoption. And now she couldn’t be more thankful that she did, however long it took her to get there.
Nia and her husband ended up adopting a three-year-old child who was in the American foster care system in 2008 called Illaria. Now, she’s such a huge advocate of undergoing adoption that she’s become the spokesperson for National Adoption Day: “How I’ve changed is I’m not ashamed of any of it… I guess I’ve come full circle.”
Heidi Klum’s Biological Daughter Was Adopted By Ex-Husband Seal
Actress Heidi Klum fell pregnant with controversial Italian businessman Flavio Briatore’s child in 2003, right before they broke up. She started dating the singer Seal shortly after, and he adopted her daughter Leni as his own. “Seal is Leni’s father,” Heidi has stated, as he’s been there for Leni from the start.
Aside from Leni, Heidi and Seal have three biological children together who they continue to co-raise since their divorce. Leni’s biological father has previously stated: “Leni is my natural daughter, but the three of us happily agreed that it made more sense if Seal adopted her, because a child needs to grow up in a family.” He added, “It’s hard to miss a baby that you never see. But I know that Leni is not an abandoned child. Leni is part of Seal’s family.”
Charlize Theron Wrongly Assumed Her Child’s Gender Identity
Actress Charlize Theron is a mom to two gorgeous daughters, the first of whom came to her in 2012. Jackson, pictured below, was born male but identified as a girl right from the start: “Yes, I thought she was a boy, too, until she looked at me when she was three years old and said: ‘I am not a boy!'” She joked that it was her mom’s fault that she made the mistake, stating “You can blame my mom for the fact I don’t know any better! “
Charlize is totally unjudgemental about Jackson: “So there you go! I have two beautiful daughters who, just like any parent, I want to protect and I want to see thrive.” She understands that “They were born who they are and exactly where in the world both of them get to find themselves as they grow up, and who they want to be, is not for me to decide.” Now, Jackson is eight years old and busy being a big sister to her younger adopted sibling, August.