Adoption and the celebrity families we love

In honour of National Adoption Awareness Month, see what some of our favourite Hollywood stars say about their adopted kids.

By Haley Overland
Adoption and the celebrity families we love

Adoption and the celebrity families we love

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt

When she adopted her son Maddox, now 13, from Cambodia, Angelina Jolie got everyone talking about international adoption. Three years later, July 6, 2005, Jolie awed us again when she adopted six-month-old Zahara, now nine, from Ethiopia. She started the adoption process alone, but completed it with Brad Pitt.

Brad and Angelina's biological daughter Shiloh, now 8, was born a year after they adopted Zahara. The following spring (March 2007), the couple adopted a three-year-old boy, Pax, who's now 10, from Vietnam. In July 2008, Jolie gave birth to twins Knox and Vivienne.
Over the years there have been constant rumours that Brad and Angelina are adopting againu2015indeed, every time Jolie gets a strange new tattoo people start assuming and...getting it all wrong.

Read on for more celebrity adoptions>>>>>

Adoption and the celebrity families we lovePhoto: FameFlynet Pictures

Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron surprised the world when she announced the adoption of her baby Jackson, now two years old. 

"I am just overwhelmed at how it is everything I ever wanted,” the Oscar-winning actress told Hello! Canada Magazine. “It’s just been incredible so far. It’s just surprising that your heart can turn into mush like that over the most incredible little stranger." Oh, yeah, we get it!

Adoption and the celebrity families we lovePhoto: FameFlynet Pictures



Madonna went through two challenging international adoptions to make her family complete. She and then-husband Guy Ritchie adopted three-year-old David Banda, now eight, from Malawi, Africa, while Madonna was involved in a Raising Malawi campaign, in 2006. The adoption was complete in 2008, after Madonna fought hard to adopt what she described on the Oprah Winfrey Show as a very sick little boy. In 2009 Madonna adopted Mercy James, now eight, also from Malawi.
Madonna also has two other children: her daughter Lourdes, 15, with Carlos Leon, and son Rocco Ritchie, 11, with Guy Ritchie.

Adoption and the celebrity families we lovePhoto: Madonna via Instagram

Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman has spoken much about his and wife Deborra-Lee Furness’ painful experience of infertility and their “destined” journey toward adopting their son Oscar, 14, and daughter Ava, 9. “From the moment we started the adoption process,” Hugh said, “all the anxiety went away. I don’t think of them as adopted—they’re our children.”

Adoption and the celebrity families we lovePhoto: FameFlynet Pictures

Katherine Heigl

Katherine Heigl and Josh Kelley adopted two daughters (and a bunch of dogs...), Naleigh, 5, and Adelaide, 2. 

Adoption was always in the cards for Katherine. As she said in an intimate interview with W Magazine last year, she let her musician-husband, Josh know of her adoption plans early on in their relationship. “Not everybody is down with [adopting],” she told the mag. “I just wanted to make sure that I was marrying a guy who understands that this was going to have to happen.”

Adoption and the celebrity families we lovePhoto: Katherine Heigl via Instagram


Jillian Michaels

After two long years of struggling to adopt a child, Jillian Michaels was finally able to adopt a 2-year-old daughter Lukensia, now four years old, from Haiti.

Miraculously, Jillian's partner, Heidi Rhodes gave birth to their son, Phoenix, now 2, the very same week. They were quite suddenly moms of two!

Read more: Special interview with Jillian Michaels>

Adoption and the celebrity families we lovePhoto: Andrew Evans/PR Photos

Ty Burrell

Anyone who enjoys Modern Family loves Ty Burrell! And he's even more loveable when you learn the he's got two adopted daughters, Frances, 4, and Greta, 2.

Adoption and the celebrity families we lovePhoto: KM/FameFlynet Pictures

Denise Richards

No one saw this one coming. Right smack in the middle of her ex-husband Charlie Sheen's big "winning" scandal, Denise Richards, managed to adopt a baby girl, now three years old, whom she named Eloise Joni, after Richards' late mother.

Eloise is the third child for Denise. She also has two daughters with Charlie: Sam, 10, and Lola, 8.

Adoption and the celebrity families we lovePhoto: Denise Richards via Instagram


Sandra Bullock

At one year old, little Louis Bardo was already choosing his mom’s Oscar dress: “He loves red. So I put on red!”

Sandra Bullock adopted Louis, now four years old, just as her marriage to Jesse James began to crumble. A ray of light during dark times, it seems the little guy’s timing was just right. “[Motherhood] has made me a better person,” Sandra told reporters on the Oscars’ red carpet. “I’m more patient and accommodating. I really appreciate where I am.”

Adoption and the celebrity families we lovePhoto: FameFlynet Pictures

Viola Davis

When Viola Davis and her husband, Julius Tennon, walked the red carpet at The Help premiere back in August, they couldn’t hold back their excitement about adopting a child. “Yup, yup we are!" Davis beamed. "We're about to adopt a baby. My husband has two children—a 35 and a 33-year-old—and he's got six grandchildren....” And now they’ve got a beautiful little girl, Genesis, now three years old, together.

Adoption and the celebrity families we lovePhoto: PR photos

Kristin Davis

In an exclusive interview with Hello! Canada Magazine, Kristen Davis, who had recently adopted daughter Gemma (now three), said, "Adoption is a huge leap of faith for everyone involved. It has been a profound experience for me.” She also praised Angelina Jolie for her multiple adoptions: "I've met Angelina,” she told the mag. “I don't know her well, but what she has done is fantastic. I admire anyone who adopts children."

Adoption and the celebrity families we lovePhoto courtesy of Hello! Canada


Mariska Hargitay

Law & Order: SVU actress Mariska Hargitay and her husband, Peter Hermann, a baby girl, Amaya Josephine Hargitay Hermann, now three years old, and a son Andrew Nicolas (now 3). They hadn’t planned on adopting their children so close together, but Andrew’s adoption papers were processed after only a week. “We never in a million years thought it would happen this quickly,” she told People Magazine, “but something inside of us knew that this was right, and we said, ‘Yes, yes, yes!”
Hargitay and Hermann also have a son, August Miklos Friedrich Hermann, who is eight years old. See a beautiful photo of Hargitay and her adorable babies at

Adoption and the celebrity families we lovePhoto: PR photos

Sheryl Crow

It was after she was treated for breast cancer, in 2006, that Sheryl Crow, 52, says she developed “an acute sense of urgency about how I wanted my life to feel.”

Sheryl adopted her son Wyatt, now seven, in 2007. She’d wanted to adopt again two years later, but, she told People, “a lot of adoptions fell through.” She adopted Levi, now four, in 2010, and she doesn't regret a thing. “Things always work out perfectly," she said. "Generally, when you let go of your vision of how something is supposed to be, the universe hands you exactly what you need.”

Adoption and the celebrity families we lovePhoto: FameFlynet

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s adopted kids don’t get much pressu2015mostly because their adorable little half sisters Suri Cruise, and Sunday and Faith Urban tend to hog the spotlight. 
Nicole Kidman is generally quiet about her adopted children. But she has openly lamented their choice to live with ex-husband Tom Cruise. "They live with Tom, which was their choice,” she has said. “I'd love them to live with us, but what can you do?"

Adoption and the celebrity families we lovePhoto: FameFlynet Pictures


More Celebrity Candy FUN!

Hollywood couples: Still going strong>
It may not seem like the Hollywood norm, but lots of celebrity parents have been together for 10+ years! Find out who has staying power.


Adoption and the celebrity families we lovePhotos: Pablo/FameFlynet Pictures
This article was originally published on Nov 07, 2014

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