Celebrities are no strangers to adoption processes, and it’s quite commendable especially considering how busy their lives can be. And although the process is easier for them financially, they still have to be vetted by each country they wish to adopt a child from. While many have gone through it, these are the ones that stick out the most.
Some of these celebrities have adopted as many as four children, while some have fallen out with the kids they’ve come to love. Some have been at the media’s scrutiny for years, while others lead lives away from the spotlight. If you’re interested in learning which of your favourite celebs have adopted children, keep reading.
Angelina Jolie’s name has been in the news long before she and Brad Pitt became an item. And one of the things that got people’s attention was the adoption of a little boy, Maddox, from Cambodia back in 2002. She went through this process with Billy Bob Thornton, her husband at the time.
She and Billy Bob did not last, but that did not stop the actress from adopting another child, Zahara, from Ethiopia, in 2005, when she was embroiled in one of the biggest scandals in Hollywood’s history- she was accused of stealing Brad Pitt from Jennifer Aniston. And it would not be the last child she would adopt.
When it was confirmed that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were, in fact, an item, everyone was in shock. Brad adopted her two children and soon, they were expecting a biological child of their own in 2006. Because Vietnam does not allow unmarried couples to adopt, Angelina became Pax’s mother as a single parent in 2007, despite being in a relationship with Brad- who would legally adopt Pax as his own later on.
With a total of four kids- three adopted and one biological- the couple decided to add to their large family again. They had twins, Vivienne and Knox, in 2008. Although they are no longer together, they are co-parenting.
Viola Davis may just be one of the most talented actresses of our time and she’s proven that with the numerous awards she’s received. It was during one of her award speeches (at Elle’s Women in Hollywood gala), that she let the entire world know that she had a new addition to her family, a baby girl named Genesis.
She and her husband Julius adopted her back in 2011. The star had no biological children, but was the stepmother to her husband’s two children from a previous relationship. She said that she often tells Genesis that “she was born from my heart, not my belly.”
This happened so long ago, that many people don’t even recall that Nicole Richie was adopted by Lionel Richie. When Nicole was very young, her soon to be adoptive father took her in. She was related to one of his close friends and bandmates, who was going through financial and personal issues and could not care for her as a child; back then, her name was Nicole Camille Escovedo.
When she was nine years old, the legendary singer legally adopted her. Lionel explained that it only took a year for Nicole to start calling him “Dad” and by that time, he had already fallen in love with her. Over a decade later, he had two biological children, one boy, Miles and a girl named Sofia.
Madonna is an icon, whether you care to admit it or not. But she’s much more than that. The star is a well-known philanthropist and she can now add the title of ‘four-time adoptive mother’ to her belt as well. That’s right, Madonna has four adopted children.
They were all born in the African nation, Malawi. She found her son, David, in 2006, then her daughter, Mercy in 2009. In 2017, she adopted twin girls Estere and Stella. The singer also has two biological children.
Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman
Many people don’t remember that Tom Cruise was married to Nicole Kidman years before he was seen jumping on Oprah’s couch, raving about how happy and in love he was with Katie Holmes. Well, the two were together and during their union, they adopted two children, Isabella and Connor.
Now in their mid to late twenties, the children decided to live with Tom after the couple split, as they both practiced Scientology. Their relationship with Nicole is strained at best; when Isabella was asked whether she spoke to her mother, she said, “not if I have a choice”. She did not invite her mother to her wedding either.
Sandra Bullock adopted her son Louis during one of the most difficult times of her life – she was going through a divorce. It was a highly publicized event, not only because her husband had cheated on her with multiple women, but also because people were commending her for going through this process alone.
Her second adoption happened sometime later, when she added Laila to her family. This time, however, almost no one knew she was adopting a second child until Sandra made the announcement – something she decided to do to show that she could provide them with a normal at-home environment. Sandra adopted them both from Louisiana’s foster care system.
It seems like adoption may have always been in the cards for Oscar-winning actress, Charlize Theron. When she was young and still living in South Africa, she wrote to a local orphanage saying that she wanted a brother or sister. Well, she couldn’t adopt as a child, but she did when she became an adult. In 2012, she adopted a little boy by the name of Jackson.
Drama surrounded the actress when an Arkansas judge posted her adoption details online for the world to see – he surrendered his law license shortly after. The star chose to adopt again in 2015, this time a little girl named August. Earlier in 2019, Charlize revealed that her son identifies as a girl and has done so since he was three years old.
The man who the world has come to know as Wolverine really is just a cuddly creature on the inside. He and his wife Deborra-Lee had struggled for years with fertility issues before choosing to adopt. They had gone through miscarriages and failed IVF treatments and said that it was “a no-brainer” to turn to adoption.
They saw a need for adoption with mixed-race children; the actor stating that it was never important for the children to look like him and his wife. They adopted a boy, Oscar Maximillian in 2000 and a girl, Ava Eliot, in 2005.
Former “Grey’s Anatomy” star Katherine Heigl always knew she wanted to be an adoptive mom, so when she met her husband Josh Kelley, they decided to start the process. The first place they went to was South Korea, where they found and fell in love with a little girl. They adopted her in 2009, with Katherine saying she wanted her family to look like the one she came from; she had an adopted sister who was also from South Korea.
In 2012, the couple adopted another little girl, Adalaide, this time from the United States. Knowing that they wanted biological children as well, the actress and her musician husband found out they were expecting, and in 2016, welcomed their first son, Joshua.
The world got to know Jillian Michaels because of how loudly she screamed at the contestants on “The Biggest Loser”, but her personal life was very, very different. Along with her fiancé, Heidi Rhoades, she adopted a toddler by the name of Lukensia, back in May of 2012. It was revealed that Jillian had actually been in the process since 2010 and it was only in 2012 that she got to bring her little girl home from her birth country, Haiti.
But that wasn’t the only blessing that Jillian received that month. Heidi also gave birth to their son, Phoenix, that same month. The two have since ended their relationship, but remain close friends and continue to co-parent their children.
Julie Andrews is one of the celebrities who started adopting children way before it got tons of media attention. She and her then-husband adopted two girls, Joanna and Amy, way back in the seventies when they were only five and two months old, respectively.
Biologically, Julie and her husband had no children together, but they did have their own children from previous relationships. The famous actress explained that she has no regrets about being a mother, stepmother, and adoptive mother; she quite loves her big blended family.
She might not be in the spotlight like she used to back in the day, but Meg Ryan is still a big name and an amazing actress with a lot of hit movies to her name!
Ryan adopted a baby girl back in 2006 and apparently she intended to raise her all alone, since this happened after her divorce with ex husband Dennis Quaid.
Although the actress already had a son with her former husband, she opted for adoption when she met Daisy True (her adopted daughter) in China and the two of them seem to have an unbreakable bond!