Reports indicate that about 135,000 children are adopted each year in the United States. With so many options occurring, it’s no surprise that some famous adoptions take place. Prominent adoptions help to shine a light on the topic of adoption.
The fact is, Hollywood has its fair share of famous adoptions and famous adoptees. Let’s look at some of the familiar faces that are part of a unique adoption story.
At Texas Adoption Center, we know that no two adoptions are alike. Each unique story adds to the family portrait. Read on to learn about six famous adoptions and what these celebrity parents had to say about them.
“The beautiful thing that I was constantly told was, ‘The perfect child will find you. You will find your child… When it does happen, you know exactly what they’re talking about.”
Sandra Bullock is beloved by many Americans for her heartfelt performances. In 2010, she won an Oscar for her performance in The Blind Side, where she played a suburban mother who takes in a homeless high school student and becomes his legal guardian.
Many don’t know that Bullock is an adoptive mother off screen. After Hurricane Katrina, she adopted two children from foster care in Louisiana.
“I don’t think of them as adopted – they’re our children. Deb and I are believers in … I suppose you could call it destiny. We feel things happened the way they are meant to.”
Hugh Jackman and his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, discovered they were unable to have biological children. After miscarriages and failed IVF treatments, the couple decided to turn to adoption.
Through adoption, the couple was able to grow their family. They now have two children, Oscar and Ava.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
“We travel often to Asia, Africa, Europe, where they were born. The boys know they’re from Southeast Asia, and they have their food and their music and their friends, and they have a pride particular to them.”
Perhaps the most well-known example of famous adoption comes from Brad and Angelina. Though the pair is no longer together, they share six children. Three of their children—Maddox, Zahara and Pax—are adopted.
Maddox is from Cambodia, Zahara is from Ethiopia and Pax is from Vietnam. As you can see, the Jolie-Pitt family is no stranger to international adoption.
“There are so many ways to mother rather than to carry a child in your body. So many children need parents, and so many of us want to mother.”
Viola Davis is known for her soulful performances on screen. With an Emmy, two Tony Awards and one Academy Award under her belt, she is the first African American woman to receive the “Triple Crown of Acting.” But Viola’s pride and joy is her adopted daughter, Genesis.
“So it took about maybe a year for me to just fall in love [with Nicole] and she was a little button, and of course by that time I was Dad …”
With millions of records sold and a lengthy career in the music industry, Lionel Richie is a household name. When one of his bandmates faced difficulties raising his young daughter, Lionel decided to take her in.
So, at the age of 3, Nicole became part of the Richie family. Six years later, she was officially adopted by Lionel and his wife, Brenda. By adopting a friend’s baby, the Richie family expanded.
“I wanted to believe that somehow my child would find me in the way that we were just meant to be. So I wasn’t specific with anything. In whatever country they would allow me as a single woman to adopt, that’s where I filed.”
Charlize Theron is an award-winning actress who hails from South Africa. As one of the highest-paid actresses in the world, Theron dazzles with her on-screen performances. But at home, she is mother to her adopted children—Jackson and August.
After one international and domestic adoption, Charlize is a proud single mother of two. She adopted Jackson from South Africa, her home country. Later, she adopted August in America.
Before these celebrities inspired us, they were adoptees just like so many other children. Keep reading to learn more—you might be surprised to learn that some well-known celebrities are famous adoptees.
“Growing up, my biological mom was suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and she was in and out of jail. My parents saved me. There’s nothing I could say to them to thank them enough.”
Before becoming an international gymnastics sensation, Simone Biles was placed in foster care as a young child. Her birth mother struggled with drug addiction and could not provide a stable home for Simone and her siblings.
At the age of six, Simone was adopted by her grandparents, Ron and Nellie Biles. With multiple Olympic medals under her belt, Simone has made her adoptive parents proud. Simone shared that she can’t imagine where she would be today without them.
“Knowing I was adopted may have made me feel more independent, but I have never felt abandoned. I’ve always felt special.”
The visionary mind behind Apple transformed the technological landscape and left behind leadership lessons that many still learn from today. While the innovation of Steve Jobs is well-known, many are surprised to learn that he was a famous adoptee.
Steve’s biological mother was young and not financially stable, so she placed Steve for adoption. Paul and Clara Jobs adopted Steve when he was an infant in a closed adoption.
“I have a lot of respect for my birth mother and no feeling of anger or any of that.”
Faith Hill is among the most well-known singers in the country music industry. The Grammy Award-winning country music star was adopted as an infant by Ted and Edna Perry. She felt supported and loved by her parents, but she always had a curiosity about her birth mother.
At the age of 19, Hill began searching for her birth mother. Faith found her birth mother and her biological brother shortly after that.
“I know my biological mother quite well, and we have a wonderful, wonderful relationship. And I—it’s the exact same demographic. So my father has passed away. He was African-American. My mother is white. So I was adopted by a couple that was of a similar dynamic as my biological parents.”
Actor and comedian Keegan-Michael Key is a man of many talents. In addition to starring in movies and television shows, he’s worked as a producer and host. His ability to make the audience laugh and put them at ease has earned him fans across the globe.
As an infant, Key was adopted by Michael Key and Patricia Walsh. His adoptive parents divorced, but he remains close to his adoptive mother. In his twenties, he began a relationship with his biological mother.
Start Your Adoption Journey Today
The famous adoptions above give us a look into the beauty and uniqueness of each adoption. Whether superstar parents or ordinary people adopt a child, being loved and encouraged is most important.
At Texas Adoption Center, we bring birth mothers and families together for beautiful adoptions. We offer open, semi-open and closed adoptions so that you can select the option that works best for you. If you have questions about the adoption process, contact Texas Adoption Center today.